An FBI special agent often thought about a case in which he rescued a newborn baby, who had been kidnapped from his mother’s hospital room, early in his career. On the day of his retirement ceremony 22 years later, his colleagues surprised him with a visit from the same newborn — now a young Marine — to thank him and wish him the best.
The ceremony took place on Aug. 9 in Knoxville, Tenn., to honor special agent Troy Sowers. The baby, who is now 22-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Stewart Rembert, said it was a “privilege” to be invited to meet the person who saved him.
“It stirred up a lot of happiness and privilege honestly to be able to meet this man,” Rembert told the FBI. “I was just really ecstatic that they would come to me like 22 years later and like when he’s retiring. I just thought it was like a great thing to come down and meet him.”
Sowers was assigned to the kidnapping case in 1997 in Lakewood, Wash., when he had been in the field for barely two months. According to the FBI, he participated in an “agonizing” 19-hour search for the infant after a woman posing as a doctor took Rembert as a newborn, and later abandoned him in a cardboard box behind a convenience store. Sowers managed to return the baby to his “grateful” parents.
“Over my 22-year career when people ask me highlights of my career I would always mention this, that I pulled a baby out of a box, but never really focused on it because it’s just one of the things we do,” Sowers told WATE.
Sowers, on the other hand, couldn’t believe that his colleagues managed the surprise visit, and told the FBI he hadn’t expected anything big for his retirement.
“I’m completely surprised they pulled this off,” Sowers said. “I did not know it at all — I’d wanted something very simple. I asked for coffee and donuts, and they shocked me.”
Sowers did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, but the retired agent told the FBI that he’s proud of the path Rembert has taken.
“I’m extremely proud for him,” he said. “I’m proud of anybody who serves others above themselves and the fact that he’s willing to serve this country in the Marine Corps. I think is just a perfect example of what we expect of everybody.”
The FBI reports that Rembert “settled into life” soon after his “dramatic first days,” with five brothers and sisters. While his family talked to him about his kidnapping, he refrained from asking too many questions to make sure they didn’t have relive “painful details.” However, the Marine wanted Sowers to know his work had an impact.
“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.”
Rembert did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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