Alabama priest who ran off to Italy with teenage girl back in US

  • Alex Crow ran off to Rome with an 18-year-old he allegedly met while she was a student at McGill-Toolen High School in Mobil
  • The couple have been in Italy since July and have since returned with the girl ‘safe’ and well
  • But Mobile County District Attorney’s Office will not pursue charges after the teen declined to answer questions about her disappearance

A disgraced Alabama priest who ran off to Italy with a teenage girl he allegedly groomed is back in the US, but will not face charges.

Alex Crow disappeared to Rome with the 18-year-old in July sparking a massive manhunt.

The defrocked Catholic priest allegedly met the girl while she was a 17-year-old student at McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile.

Cops uncovered love notes and other letters which indicated Crow, who claims to have been exorcised as a child, had told his lover that Jesus had instructed him to leave with her.

Now the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed both have returned to the US but said that it will not be pursuing charges after the girl ‘declined to answer any questions’ about the disappearance.

Defrocked priest Alex Crow has since returned to the US after he disappeared to Italy with an 18-year-old girl he allegedly groomed, but will not face charges

Mobile District Attorney's Office confirmed it is not pursuing charges against the 30-year-old after his lover declined to answer questions about their relationship

The DA interviewed 30 witnesses and examined thousands of documents, including this love letter from the priest to the girl sent on Valentine's Day, but found no evidence of criminality

A statement from the office explained how prosecutors interviewed 30 witnesses and revied ‘thousands of pages of documents’ provided by the Archdiocese but would not seek charges over the ‘private relationship between two now-adults’.

The statement reported by WKRG said: ‘When the young lady and Priest returned, we subpoenaed the young lady to meet with our office to determine what had occurred, and whether there was any criminal action. 

‘She appeared in seemingly good health and said that she is safe. 

‘However, she brought an attorney with her to the meeting, and together they declined to answer any questions about the circumstances surrounding her July disappearance, or indeed any other questions.

‘Without being able to speak with the young lady about these events, we do not have sufficient admissible evidence to charge a crime at this time. Therefore, this investigation is currently closed.’

Meanwhile the Archdiocese of Mobile said it is ‘relieved’ to learn that the couple have returned, after Crow ‘abandoned’ his parish.

Church bosses said they found out he was back through the media as shamed priest had not been in contact with them since his suspension. 

‘While Crow’s behavior has been scandalous, the Archdiocese does not have any information to indicate that Crow has committed any crime,’ a statement said. 

Crow was suspended from the ministry in July after he fled to Italy with the girl, who was 17 when the alleged grooming began

The Archdiocese of Mobile branded the former priest's behavior 'scandalous' but accepted the DA's closure of its investigation

‘To the extent law enforcement is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Crow’s behavior, the Archdiocese will continue to cooperate fully. I

‘If law enforcement has closed their investigation of Crow, the Archdiocese thanks them for their thorough and thoughtful attention to this matter. 

‘Crow’s sudden departure created scandal, hurt, and confusion within the Archdiocese. We continue to pray for God’s grace to bring healing to this situation for everyone.’

Cops were alerted to the potentially inappropriate relationship over summer and uncovered love letter between the priest and the teen from Valentine’s Day, when she was still in high school. 

The teen, who has not been identified, graduated this past May as a part of the class of 2023.

In the letter, he suggests professes his love to her and suggests the two are ‘married’. 

‘First things first: I love you, and I thank Jesus for you every day,’ he wrote. ‘You have made my life both astronomically more complicated and incredibly better at the same time. You are his gift to me.’

Crow went on to write about his relationship with the teen before they became romantically involved – referring to himself as a ‘father’ tasked with protecting her.

Crow, who claimed to have been exorcized as a child, was said to have 'limited' the girl's contact with the outside world while in Rome

The Archdiocese of Mobile defrocked Crow (pictured in October 2020) in July after they say he abandoned his post at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church

At one point, he writes: ‘You are mine – no one else’s, and I will always be a father to you until I die.’

An ensuing passage suggests that the pair at some point married. 

It reads: ‘Now, we are in love and we are married! I’ve never been in love before (and I’ve never been married, obviously!), and I’ve never felt any of the feelings I have for you for anyone ever in my entire life. 

‘I promise that I will love you the absolute best I can, every single day.’

The note was released by Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch who claimed Crow ‘groomed another couple of young girls’ in addition to the 18-year-old.

The letter continued: ‘I’m sorry I cannot give you a “normal” Valentines Day this year. I wanted to do nothing more than buy you flowers but for fear of scandal I couldn’t.

‘I almost stole some from the Mary statue but there were too many people around,’ he admits.

It concludes with a passage that makes it clear the couple had already been planning their overseas excursion at that point. 

The defrocked clergy member also attended Sant' Anselmo in Rome, Italy where he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and studied demons and exorcisms

Crow was a priest at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church (pictured) in Mobile, Alabama

‘I know you want to make out so I’ll bring this to a close. When we are together, with our family in Italy (!!!), we will have so many wonderful and normal Valentines Days, but for now: Happy Valentines Day.

‘You are the prettiest girl who has ever lived, and I will always tell you that. You are perfect, and precious and, besides Jesus, the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen or held in my two hands.

‘I will always love you, [redacted].’

In another letter to an unidentified man named Joshua, Crow explains that he believes Jesus has instructed him to leave Mobile with the girl.

‘It will be hard for you to understand what I am doing, but do not worry. It will all make sense one day,’ the letter begins.

Crow, who was a musician before he took his post at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, continues: ‘Jesus has told me that He wants me to leave, therefore I am not going to return from this trip. I do this with a heavy heart. 

‘It is hard to suddenly leave everything behind, but this is what He is demanding and I cannot deny Him.’

He claimed he was not forsaking the priesthood, but conceded, ‘We know how this looks, but we are doing what we are told’. 

The 'heartthrob priest' Alex Crow pictured out of his Roman Collar in a photo posted online

Crow was a former rock musician whose good looks have in part drawn massive attention to the case, with many branding him a ‘heartthrob’.

The defrocked clergy member previously attended Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, Italy where he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and studied demons and exorcisms.

The couple’s return comes after lawyer’s for the girl’s family claimed Crow had cut off her contact with them while in Rome.

The lawyer, Christine Hernandez, said that he ‘limited’ the girl’s communication to the outside world.

She also said other parents reported disturbing instances involving Crow and their children during school and church trips, including claims he paid some students to attend his confessions, where they’d share details of their sins with him. 


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