Home State Wide Dau Mabil’s widow, her family say they seek justice for him

Dau Mabil’s widow, her family say they seek justice for him


Karissa Bowley and her family say they support all efforts to find justice for the late Dau Mabil, despite implications by others to the contrary. 

“Dau was special before he ever married me,” his widow told reporters in a Friday press conference. “I’m just here, missing him.”

Mabil — a 33-year-old Belhaven Heights resident who had been one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan and came to Jackson in 2000 –dissappeared March 25. He was seen on video surveillance on Jefferson Street between Fortification and High streets, and at one point went to the Museum Trail to check on corn he planted. 

Last image of Dau Mabil on Jefferson Street in Jackson, Miss., before he disappeared on March 25, 2024.

Bowley searched for her husband with others. “The whole ordeal has been frustrating and tragic,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”

Three weeks after his disappearance, a fisherman spotted a body floating in the Pearl River near Lawrence County, more than 50 miles away. By April 18, a preliminary autopsy had revealed the body belonged to Mabil. The Lawrence County sheriff said there was no evidence of foul play. Her family said Friday that authorities told them they are waiting on toxicology tests before finalizing the official autopsy.

Bowley said it wasn’t unusual for Dau to leave without his phone and his identification.

Texts contained in court records reveal a strained relationship between Bowley and Mabil. Bowley complained that Mabil was “drinking a lot,” and Mabil complained that Bowley “does not know how to control her emotions.”

Bowley’s brother, Spencer, responded Friday, “No marriage is perfect, and theirs wasn’t either.”

But he said the allegation that Bowley or the family had anything to do with Mabil’s disappearance is simply false.

He said some claimed on social media that Bowley contacted police just 30 minutes after Mabil disappeared or that she waited until the next day. He said both claims are entirely false.

Bowley said there is a void where her husband once was. “Grief is your body, mind and spirit saying no,” she said, “but the reality is still there.”

After the state finishes its investigation, official autopsy results will be released to Bowley and Mabil’s brother, Bul, according to a court order. 

Bul Mabil recently won the right to have an independent autopsy performed on Dau’s remains.

Bowley’s family said they support all efforts by Bul Mabil and others to find justice.

“I’m feeling very deeply the loss of Dau. I keep pushing for justice for Dau,” Bowley said. “He’s a person I care to honor the rest of my life.”

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