Episode 41

Published on:

26th Apr 2023

The Life and Mysterious Death of Laura Kowal; A Romance/Investment Scheme Victim Part 2: Two Bodies - One Mission

The disappearance and unexplained death of romance scam victim Laura Kowal has our listeners perplexed as to what happened on August 7, 2020. The story is far from over. Laura's daughter returns to this 2-part podcast special to talk about the day her mother's body was found and many of the troubling circumstances behind the investigation of her mother's death. Was it suicide or something more sinister?  

Also joining the podcast will be the two witnesses who discovered her body in the Mississippi River. And this was not their only discovery. Moments before, they encountered a different female body floating in the same waters. Their testimony has been unchanged throughout this investigation, and law enforcement is taking a second look into Laura's death. Someone may hold the key to this mystery and have crucial evidence to help resolve this case. 

Kelly also explains her reason for sharing this tragic story. Her mission is to find justice and to help prevent those who are in romance scams from becoming victims as well.

Join Mark and Mike for the conclusion of The Life and Mysterious Death of Laura Kowal.  


Kelly Gowe LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-gowe/

Kelly Gowe Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelly_gowe/

If you have any information regarding this case, contact the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department at (815) 777-2141.

Kelly Gowe is the daughter of Laura Kowal, a romance scam victim who disappeared from her home in Galena, IL on August 7, 2020. Laura was tragically found dead on August 9, 2020 in the Mississippi River near Canton, MO nearly 4 hours away from her home. While this case is still under investigation, Kelly is now ready to share her mom’s story. Her goal is to provide awareness around this crime in order to help others from falling victim to this tragedy. She is also focused on educating, advocating, and providing hope to other victims and their families. Kelly is extremely hopeful that through advocating work and sharing intimate details of the case, it will one day bring this open investigation to a close, bringing justice to those involved in this horrific crime. 

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About the Podcast

IAFCI Presents... The Protectors
Presented by the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators
From ATM Skimming to Human Trafficking, The Protectors Podcast takes you inside the minds of criminals from around the world with leading experts and the investigators who put them behind bars.  Presented by the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI), and hosted by International President Mark Solomon and Chairman of the Board Michael Carroll. The Protectors is a bi-weekly podcast that aims to educate consumers on the fraud, financial, and cybercriminal activities that are happening every second of every day.  Don’t become the next victim. The host's and guest's opinions are their own and do not reflect those of management, employers, or sponsors. Listeners are encouraged to contact local or state law enforcement if they suspect being a victim of a crime.

About your hosts

Michael Carroll

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Michael Carroll is a retired Postal Inspector after serving 29 years with the US Postal Inspection Service. Mike spent most of his career investigating financial crimes including identity theft, mail theft, credit card fraud, and scams involving the US Mail. Mike is proud to say he has returned to the Inspection Service as a Contractor/Analyst with the Chicago Division. Mike has been a long-time member of the IAFCI and held past positions as Illinois Chapter President, International Secretary, and International Vice President. Mike is currently the International President and co-chair of the Identity Crimes/Scams and Elder Exploitation and Webinar committee. Mike is also an instructor on Financial Crimes Investigations and Elder Exploitation at the Homeland Training Security Institute at College of DuPage. Mike is also a Certified Financial Crimes Investigator (CFCI)


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Mark Solomon is a Vice President for Fraud Investigations at a Financial Institution in Connecticut. Previously, he spent 26 years in law enforcement with 19 years in the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, with 11 of those years assigned to a Federal Law Enforcement Task Force working large scale fraud, financial and cybercrime investigations.

Mark is a recognized expert in financial and cyber-crime investigations and has spoken throughout the U.S. and Internationally on skimming, access device fraud, identity theft, elder exploitation and other financially related crimes.

In 2010, Mark was selected as the MasterCard/IAFCI International “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” recipient. In 2014 Mark was a co-recipient of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Luminary Award for Intelligence Sharing. In 2015, Mark received the Dr. John Clarke Law Enforcement of the Year Award for the Greenwich Police Department and in 2016 was awarded the Financial Crime Investigator of the Year Award from the Henry C. Lee College at the University of New Haven.
In 2011, Mark became the IAFCI CT Chapter President and held the position until 2019. Currently, Mark is the IAFCI International 1st Vice President and is a Certified Cyber Crimes Investigator (CCCI) as well as a certified instructor for the CT Municipal Police Training Council (MPTC) for identity theft and financial crimes Investigations.
Mark is also an adjunct professor with (2) Universities in Connecticut and a volunteer with the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network group.
Mark received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in the Administration of Justice from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.