The mystery has been solved. The “angel priest” who appeared at the scene of a Missouri car crash, prayed with the teenage victim, then seemed to disappear, has been identified as an area 'roving pastor.'

Father Patrick Dowling of Jefferson City, Missouri had been travelling between Mass assignments in northern and central Missouri when he arrived near the crash scene last weekend.

The arrival of the priest, who, according to witnesses "seemed to come out of nowhere," attended to the victim before disappearing just as mysteriously. This touched off nationwide speculation about the identity of the “angel” cleric.

Priest tells his story

Dowling identified himself on Friday. “I had Mass in Ewing (Missouri) as the regular priest was sick,” he said. “When returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards away. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident.

"I absolved and anointed Katie and prayed that her leg would not hurt," he said. "Then, I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the rescue pilot were waiting and prayed the rosary silently. When the helicopter took off I returned to my car."

Family sends thanks

The family of the accident victim, 19-year-old Katie Lentz, has said they hope to thank the priest when he is identified. Lentz, meanwhile, remains hospitalized in serious condition with multiple fractures and internal injuries.