Priest and former high school student are romantically involved, according to sheriff

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 10:31 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - New developments in the investigation into a defrocked priest who ran off to Italy with a former McGill-Toolen High School student.

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office said former priest, Alex Crow and the 18-year-old woman are romantically involved.

Sheriff Paul Burch said investigators found a love letter Crow wrote to the teen on Valentine’s Day this year, while she was still a high school student.

“That really changed our perspective on how we’re looking at the case,” said Burch. “Clearly there was some sort of a relationship other than a priest and a student.”

The sheriff said the couple is currently in Italy with no plans of returning home, despite the 18-year-old’s parents flying there to plead with their daughter to come back to Mobile.

Burch said the former priest had a fascination with demons and exorcisms and they may have gone to Italy to perform one on the young woman.

Two weeks ago, the Archdiocese of Mobile defrocked Fr Crow because they said he abandoned his assignment at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Mobile County investigators said they are still very much hot on the case.

The DA’s office sent FOX10 News this statement: “We are working closely with MCSO on this case. This is an active investigation, so we are limited on what we can say in order to protect the integrity of the investigation. The circumstances surrounding this case are concerning, and it has the full attention of the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office.”

Burch said his department has never investigated any case like this and the more they dig, the more they uncover. Burch said more female students are possibly involved.

If you know anything that could help their investigation, the sheriff is asking you to come forward.