Mom of 5 Kids Hidden From Society a 'Crazy Lady'
'NYT' tries to unravel the curious case of Louann Bowers, Sinhue Johnson
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2010 7:22 AM CST
Sinhue Johnson, mid-40s, and Louann Bowers, 33.   (York County Police)

(Newser) – The five kids that lived for years outside society are now six after an unexpected and very premature jailhouse birth, and the story gets stranger from there as the New York Times delves into it. Thirty-three-year-old mom Louann Bowers, who gave birth in her cellblock last week, ran away from a nearby Pennsylvania town at age 16, possibly because she had become involved with Sinhue Johnson—the children's father, now in his mid-40s—who was definitely her uncle by marriage. The pair bounced around for years, always on the fringe, before settling in York, where "she was described as 'the crazy lady,'" says her lawyer. “She had her face covered, glasses, always had the walkie-talkie on hand and was almost like the town nut, if you will.”

Along the way, Bowers' grandmother died, leaving her more than $100,000—at which point her family had her declared dead after searching for her in vain. That money could be key, notes the Times: Bowers can opt to claim it, and as she's studying for her GED in prison, could try to convince a court that she's fit to reclaim her children from foster care. “She can get out, make money, pay rent, take care of business," says her lawyer. "It’s going to be really different for her. I’m not even sure she’s ready for it yet, but I guess time will tell.” The Times interestingly largely ignores Johnson in the piece.