Special Agent Troy Sowers wanted something simple for his retirement from the FBI. "I asked for coffee and doughnuts," he said.
Instead, he got a surprise: a visit from the baby boy he rescued from a kidnapper 22 years ago on one of his first assignments in the FBI.
In 1997, Sowers was new on the job at the FBI's Tacoma Resident Agency when a woman posing as a doctor kidnapped a newborn baby boy from St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
Sowers and his colleagues began an arduous, 19-hour search for the infant. After the kidnapper was apprehended by police, she led Sowers to the baby boy. Hours before her arrest, the kidnapper had left the infant in a cardboard box behind a convenience store.
Sowers is retiring from the FBI as special agent in charge of the bureau's field office in Knoxville, Tenn. At his retirement ceremony on Friday, his colleague, Knoxville Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sherri Onks, held up a photo of a Marine.
The FBI reports:
"This man, she told Sowers, is what became of the boy you saved. 'We've brought him here to meet you today to wish you well at your retirement,' Onks told a stunned Sowers as U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Stewart Rembert emerged to shake the agent's hand. 'Hello, sir,' Rembert said. 'Thank you.'
Sowers said he was expecting only donuts and coffee with his office and was shocked to be introduced to Rembert. 'Today when I saw him, I had to pause a couple of seconds to keep my composure,' Sowers said. 'This case was something I remembered throughout my career.'"
Rembert said it was a privilege to meet the man who saved his life. "I was just really ecstatic, that they would come to me 22 years later," Rembert said.
Rembert, now a corporal in the Marines based out of Camp Lejeune, said he didn't learn about the kidnapping until he was about 5 years old.
"I was happy to tell him that I'm living a good life, and I'm going to continue living a good life," Rembert told the FBI. "His efforts that day, and all of his efforts since, made a difference."
Sowers said meeting Rembert was a great surprise. "I'm proud of anybody that serves others above themselves," said Sowers. "The fact that he is now doing that makes that case even more special."