Girls found in freezer could have died in Montgomery County

Date: 2008-09-29
Source: gazette.net

Girls found in freezer could have died in Montgomery County

Mother says that the bodies were moved from Aspen Hill in February, police report

Melissa J. Brachfeld

Autopsies are being performed on the bodies of two children found in a basement freezer in Calvert County Saturday that police say could be those of girls who moved from Aspen Hill with their adoptive mother in February.

The girls, believed to be about 9 and 11 years old, may have died in Montgomery County, police said. Montgomery detectives are trying to determine the last time the girls were seen alive.

The bodies were discovered during a child abuse investigation.

On Friday, the Calvert sheriff’s office responded to a call for a 7-year-old girl who was found after apparently running away from home. The girl, who showed signs of extreme abuse and neglect, had been locked in her room and left home alone, but escaped by jumping out a second-story window, according to the sheriff’s office.

The child's adoptive mother, Renee Bowman, 43, of the 700 block of Buckskin Trail, went to the sheriff's office after learning they had picked up the girl, police reported.

Bowman confessed to beating the girl with a "hard-heeled shoe" and is being held at the Calvert County Detention Center on first-degree child abuse charges, according to a statement from the Calvert Investigative Team, which is comprised of members of the Maryland State police and the sheriff's office.

On Saturday, as Calvert County investigators executed a search warrant Bowman's home, they found the bodies.

Investigators have learned that Bowman adopted three girls from Washington, D.C., according to the statement.

Bowman told investigators that the remains in the freezer are those of her two other adopted daughters and that they had been there since she moved from Aspen Hill in February.

Montgomery County Police said Bowman had lived in the 13100 block of Vandalia Drive.

Investigators are proceeding on the belief that the bodies are those of Bowman's two adopted daughters, who were born in 1997 and 1999, county police said.

The bodies and the freezer were taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore. Autopsies will determine the cause and manner of death, county police said.

The investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information that would assist investigators is asked to call the county's Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.

The Calvert Investigative Team is asking anyone with information to contact the Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack at 410-535-1400 or the Calvert County Sheriff's Office at 410-535-2800, Ext. 2454. For a possible reward, call Crime Solvers at 410-535-2880.

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