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Missing in America

Seventeen-year-old Cynthia “Binny” Lowry still missing five months after disappearing from San Antonio high school

The morning of January 17 was a normal morning in the San Antonio, Texas home of the Lowry family, mother Cynthia told Dateline.

Cynthia "Binny" Lowry Cynthia Lowry

“We got up and we were running late, but we’re always running late,” Cynthia said about herself and her daughter, also named Cynthia, who she calls Binny. “I said, ‘Come on, Binny. We gotta go. We gotta go.’”

Cynthia said she and Binny, 17, got in the car to drive to Binny’s school, as always. Before arriving at John Jay High School, Binny said she needed to go home to get a jacket that she had to return to a friend.

“I wait in the car while she goes inside to get the jacket,” Cynthia told Dateline. “When Binny got back in the car, she slammed the door. She was in a bad mood. But she was always in a bad mood.”

On the drive to school, Cynthia realized her daughter hadn’t grabbed a jacket from the house, but a thermal shirt. Cynthia said it looked like there were objects wrapped in the shirt, but she couldn’t figure out what they were and Binny wouldn’t tell her.

“She starts to say that I’m being overbearing,” Cynthia said. “So I got upset and said, ‘Don’t talk to me like that.’”

When they pulled up to the school, Binny got out of the car. Cynthia said Binny was still upset. Cynthia says she called her husband, William, and told him about the tense car ride. Cynthia says he told her to not worry about it.

“’She’ll be fine. Let her get over it,’” Cynthia recalled her husband telling her.

As the end of the school day neared, Cynthia checked in with her husband to make sure he was going to pick Binny up from school, as he usually did. He said he was, and texted Binny to confirm.

“She texted him back to say she wasn’t going to be there, but didn’t say where she was,” Cynthia told Dateline.

William went to Binny’s school around 4:00 p.m. to pick her up, anyway. Binny was nowhere to be found.

“At this point, I thought, ‘Whatever. She probably went to her friend Cynthia’s house,’” Binny’s mom told Dateline. Within an hour, Binny’s phone was turned off. By 6:30 p.m., Binny’s mother began to grow concerned.

“I call the police and ask them to meet me at Cynthia’s [to check on them],” Binny’s mother told Dateline. “We knocked on the door, but Cynthia didn’t live there anymore. We had no idea where Binny was.”

Now worried, Binny’s mother Cynthia said she “went ballistic” and began rummaging through her daughter’s call logs on the family account. She recognized the phone number belonging to a family friend had been making frequent calls to Binny’s phone.

Cynthia would later learn that Binny had been romantically involved with the family friend, a woman eight years her senior. Cynthia told Dateline that Binny’s friends say Binny had planned to break up with the girlfriend that day, January 17.

Binny’s mother Cynthia later got in touch with Binny’s friend Cynthia, who “showed me text messages where Binny said she was leaving school around 10:00 a.m. to go talk with [her girlfriend],” Binny’s mother Cynthia told Dateline. “She was supposed to break up with her, and she was going to give her her stuff back.”

Cynthia added she now believes the items wrapped in the thermal shirt belonged to Binny’s girlfriend and that she was going to return them to her.

Dateline reached out to the woman, whom friends say Binny had been seeing, but hadn’t heard back by Monday evening.

According to police reports obtained by Dateline, Cynthia called the San Antonio Police Department around 7:30 p.m. that evening, January 17, to report her daughter missing. The report states Officer Abram Ramos sent out a city-wide be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) alert for Binny. The San Antonio Police Department said they were unable to comment further at this time.

“There’s no search going on, because I would have no clue where to search,” Cynthia told Dateline, adding she has put fliers up around her daughter’s school and around San Antonio. “I don’t even know if she’s here anymore. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI are also involved,” Cynthia continued, “They tell me they’re investigating. But nobody has seen my daughter. Not one sighting of her.”

Cynthia says her daughter’s phone has been off since January 17 and she does not have a credit card. She did not take a bag of clothes, and all of her personal belongings were left at home.

“Every day I just wait. They keep saying to be patient. But when am I going to get the call that everything is OK?” Cynthia told Dateline. “It’s just really hard. To go from seeing your child every single day to this -- is just ridiculous.”

Cynthia “Binny” Lowry is described as being 5’4” tall and weighing 173 lbs., with brown, shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. She is Hispanic and has a medium complexion. If you have any information on Binny’s whereabouts, please call the San Antonio Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at 210-207-7660.

If you have a missing friend or family member, send a private message to Dateline NBC on our Facebook page and tell us your story. We may feature the person’s case in our Missing in America or Cold Case Spotlight series.