Officials: Child Abuse Victims Were Adopted in D.C.

Date: 2008-09-29

Officials: Child Abuse Victims Were Adopted in D.C. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – News of the shocking deaths of two adopted children and abuse of another is having repercussions in several jurisdictions around the D.C. area.

Police sources tell FOX 5 that a 7-year-old girl escaped from her adoptive mother's home after she was starved and beaten over every inch of her body with a hard-heeled wooden shoe.  The Calvert County Sheriff says the girl's adoptive mother is 43-year-old Renee Bowman, and that she has confessed to the beating. 

Sources tell FOX 5 that Bowman also confessed to killing her two other adoptive daughters, ages 9 and 11, more than a year ago and putting them in a freezer in her house.

Montgomery County police are investigating because the family used to live in Rockville, and D.C. officials are speaking out because the adoptions took place in the District.

On Monday afternoon, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and other officials spoke out about the case to, as they put it, put the facts on record and be transparent. 

City officials acknowledge that Bowman's children were in fact adopted in the District, but Mayor Fenty says that happened before he took office and everything about the adoptions went by the books as far as he could see.

"Once the court decides a family is fit, once it takes place, that ends the jurisdiction of the state or D.C.," said Mayor Fenty.

D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said that FBI background checks, home studies, and police clearances all took place in connection to the girls' adoptions.

The city acknowledges that Bowman got a $2,400 stipend from the government to raise her adopted children.  Social services experts say somehow, somewhere, something went terribly wrong.

Across the border, Montgomery County police checked in on the house where Bowman and her children used to live on Vandalia Drive.  They canvassed the neighborhood, trying to develop a timeline on when the two girls may have died.

"We're proceeding on the belief that the two bodies in the freezer belong to the girls she adopted," said Lt. Paul Starks. 


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