A Father Dowling Mystery Solved: Priest Confesses to Vanishing from Scene of Car Crash

Eric Scheiner
By Eric Scheiner | August 13, 2013 | 4:01 PM EDT

Father Frank Dowling may have had a TV series, but according to USA Today and other reports, it’s the Rev. Patrick Dowling who has come forward to solve the case of the mystery priest at the scene of a Missouri car crash.

There was much debate about whether or not he was real, but the Rev. Patrick Dowling says he was the priest who appeared at -- then vanished from -- the place where a car crashed last week.  The case attracted national attention.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

The Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., identified the priest as Dowling after he discussed his involvement in the comments section of a story in the National Catholic Register, according to reports.

Rev. Dowling told television station WTSP that he wouldn’t drive away from an emergency, “You do it, you do it. You offer your services as a priest. Because you have the power to forgive sins and you have the power to anoint the sick.”

Emergency officials had been working on extricating 19 year-old Katie Lentz from her vehicle after a collision. Lentz asked if those around her would pray with her and the priest arrived, prayed and anointed her.

Shortly after, she was safely removed - but, when emergency officials turned to thank him, he was gone.

Now, it seems, the mystery has been solved.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for