Warning: story features minimal depictions of violence necessary for contextual reference
As a private investigator and owner of Act Now Investigations, Doug Pearson has built a career out of getting to the bottom of things and in many cases uncovering ugly and often shameful truths. Many of his clients seek out his services to uncover extra curricular affairs that they intuitively and often factually suspect their partners might be engaging in. Although Doug may help his customer find out the information they needed, it also may come at the expense of their relationship with their partner. There are some cases Doug has the fortune of working that have an opportunity to produce positive results and in some cases can build relationships instead of end them. For the family and friends of a missing person, the agony of not knowing anything can be an unbearable burden. In many instances the presence of an ugly truth is more welcome than the absence of any clues or information that might bring hope for a sliver of closure. Blogger Local recently caught up with Doug Pearson of Act Now Investigations, to learn about one of his most challenging and yet potentially rewarding kinds of cases; missing persons. We spoke with Doug and found out about how vastly different and more expansive a missing persons case can be than an infidelity investigation. The obvious difference between the two is that in the case of investigating infidelity, the person of interest is already located and easy to observe, as opposed to someone who may not have been seen or heard from in decades.
We spoke with Doug about one his favorite missing persons cases which involved a Veteran who had become homeless and lost contact with his daughter for decades. The case ultimately ended with their reunification but took many interesting twists along the path to discovery. We spoke with Terry Lohman, the man at the center of the investigation. He told us over the phone how he came to be homeless and loose contact with his daughter, as well as telling us how he found the services of private investigator Doug Pearson at Act Now Investigations. Terry, now sober and off the streets for 3 years, took us back to 1975 when his troubles began. Lohman recounted how he became estranged with his now wife shortly after their daughter Tammy was born. His then wife, a computer programer, became distant with him and eventually made it very difficult to see his daughter. After years of separation from his spouse, he recalls visiting Tammy for the last time on her 3rd birthday on June 11th 1978. She didn’t recognize him and essentially would have nothing to do with him. The time apart had driven a wedge between the father and his young impressionable child. At the time Terry says it was difficult to find work and he ventured to nearby states to try and make ends meet. Eventually in 1981 he made his way out to the West Coast and settled down in San Diego. Terry was optimistic that he could start a new life for himself under the warm California Sun.
Terry landed in California and found work quickly. Although he found work and stability, he eventually lost touch with his daughter Terry. Lohman and his daughter’s communication issues were augmented by Terry’s financial instability, which lead to her phone being shut off or being reallocated to a new number. Despite their growing distance Terry could sleep well knowing she was alive and well. Things took a turn for the worse for Terry, during what went from a normal night at his hotel job to a worst case scenario. He described how after the hotel evicted a tenant, the man came back to exact revenge. Terry was stabbed 9 times by the disgruntled tenant. He was left for dead with 15 ft of his small intestine hanging out of his stomach. Terry however, was resilient in the face of death and survived beyond what the doctors who treated him considered certain death. Although Lohman survived the savage attack, the damage it left on his body and mind served as a stepping stone down a path less traveled and even more treacherous.
Terry’s life problems compounded and eventually he ended up living on the streets of San Diego a homeless veteran, who would later end up using and selling methamphetamine. This year alone over 65,000 of our nation’s veterans will find themselves down and out on the streets of towns and cities all across the country, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness‘ Snapshot of Homelessness survey. Terry found that without a permanent address or telephone where he could be reached, it was impossible to stay in contact with his daughter. Terry began to lose hope in all aspects of his life. When we spoke with Terry he maintained that eventually he came to realize that God had kept him alive to give him the chance to find his daughter and set the wrong things right in his life.
As the years went on Terry drifted in and out of work and society. In 2006 an intrepid journalist named Shane Liddick, decided to do an expose for San Diego Magazine, on the state of affairs in the city’s homeless community. He went undercover and joined the local homeless community to gain insight into what it was like to live on the streets. During Shane’s time on the streets he befriended one the homeless communities most iconic and long lived members. In the piece the author introduces one of the main characters in his experience, Terry “Bull” Lohman. The reporter recounts Lohman’s path to homelessness and tells how Lohman was a well liked and respected member of the homeless community.
After the magazine article was published, things truly began to change for Terry. The story was picked up by radio talk show host Joyce Riley and featured on her show The Power Hour. Joyce was so moved by the article that she felt she had to share it with her audience. One listener in particular was so compelled by the story that she called Joyce of The Power Hour to see if she could offer some help. A elderly lady in Louisiana, who didn’t even own a TV, offered Joyce Riley the money to hire a private investigator to help reunite Terry with his long lost daughter Tammy. Joyce contacted private investigator Doug Pearson about the case. Doug flew out to San Diego to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Doug met with Terry to learn as much insight as he could to help generate leads on the whereabouts of his daughter. The investigation was particularly challenging for Doug since Terry’s daughter Tammy moved around frequently and didn’t participate in social media or have any sort of online presence. Another initial challenge the private investigator had to over come was the 3 decades that had gone by since Terry Lohman had last seen his daughter. The time frame compounded the difficulty since many of Terry’s leads had gone dry but it was hard to say for how long they had been so. Doug combed meticulously through different channels including public billing records and employment records until he generated some leads. After an extensive effort on Doug’s part, he eventually found Terry’s daughter alive and well.
When Doug finally tracked Tammy down, he found out that Tammy had spent years searching for her father and had come up empty handed. Tammy even went so far as to contact talk show host and acclaimed journalist Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo actually responded to her request stating that it simply would be to challenging to find one homeless veteran in a city of millions after such a long lapse in time. Doug eventually coordinated the initial communication between the estranged father and daughter. It proved difficult initially for Tammy to reach Terry since he was on the streets and didn’t have a permanent address. When Blogger Local spoke with Terry he related that he was very nervous at the news of finding his daughter and that he was anxious at to know out how she would receive him. All went well as the two eventually began to rebuild a relationship that essentially never had a chance.
Terry told us that event of finally meeting his daughter after 30 years was so uplifting to him that it provided him with the motivation to get his life together. Today Mr. Lohman is currently celebrating 3 years of being off the streets, as well as having kicked his methamphetamine habit. Through the generosity of strangers and the expertise of private investigator Doug Pearson, Mr. Lohman now has relief from the anxiety of not knowing his daughters whereabouts. Terry know has a profound sense of closure which he attributes to the skill and determination of Act Now Investigations.
Doug told us about how this was undoubtedly one of his favorite case outcomes so far in his career and that it opened his eyes to what can be uncovered even after 3 decades. The private investigator told us that cases like Terry and Tammy’s are so rewarding because of the closure that they received. Doug can rest well knowing that they no longer have to live in anguish and can finally move on with their lives, together.
Keep up with this blog to find out more about some of the interesting cases Act Now Investigations have put to a close.