Mother investigated for neglect

Date: 2008-10-17
Source: somdnews.com

Mother investigated for neglect

Renee Bowman was reported to social services in Charles
Oct. 17, 2008
BETHANY RODGERS

A social worker in January inspected the Charles County home of the woman discovered Sept. 27 with the bodies of two girls in her basement freezer, according to a press release from the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

Renee Denise Bowman, 43, who may have used a false name while living in Bryans Road, rented the home on a quiet cul-de-sac between her stays in Montgomery and Calvert counties. During that time, an anonymous caller reported Bowman to social workers, alleging child neglect, according to the release.

Months later, police found the frozen remains of two girls, tentatively identified as two of Bowman's adopted daughters, while looking through her Calvert County home. Bowman moved to Calvert County in February, according to the Calvert County Sheriff's Office.

Police obtained the search warrant after Bowman's third adopted daughter, a 7-year-old, jumped out of the Lusby home's second-story window and walked to a neighbor's house for help. The girl was suffering from severe injuries, and Bowman later said she hit her daughter with the heel of a shoe.

Bowman also told police she killed her two other adopted daughters, Jasmine and Minnet, but she has not been charged in the deaths pending the completion of a police investigation according to a Montgomery County Police spokeswoman. The girls, adopted from Washington, D.C., likely died while Bowman was living in Montgomery County, authorities have said.

However, a caseworker who inspected Bowman's Charles County home found no signs of neglect during the January 2008 visit, according to the release.

The worker reported Bowman's home was clean and appropriately furnished, but did notice "the smell of mildew," the release stated. Bowman claimed a water leak in her basement was causing the smell.

Bowman's child was healthy and of a good weight, and the caseworker reported that conditions in the home were sufficient to meet her needs, according to the release.

The caseworker also noted that there were cats and dogs in the home.

Lakeisha Burks, who lives on Garden Court near the home Bowman occupied, said she only saw Bowman, a man and a couple dogs at the home and never saw a child. Bowman and the man with her didn't even walk their large, black dog around the neighborhood, Burks said.

"It's really disturbing," Burks said. "She obviously needs help."

Joanne Gerber, a 27-year resident of the neighborhood, said she never saw Bowman. The one-story brick home was rented out to a couple before Bowman moved in, and Gerber said she wasn't even aware they had left the neighborhood.

Gerber said the whole situation is hard to comprehend.

"I find it difficult to understand how people could treat other people like that, let alone children," said Gerber. "It's upsetting and sad."

Bowman has been charged with first- and second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault in Calvert County District Court.

brodgers@somdnews.com

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