Freezer remains suspect indicted in child's abuse

Date: 2008-10-23
Source: ap.google.com

Freezer remains suspect indicted in child's abuse

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland woman suspected of killing two daughters and keeping their remains in a freezer has been indicted on attempted murder charges in the abuse of a third, surviving daughter, according to court records unsealed Wednesday.

The indictment issued Monday by a Calvert County grand jury charges Renee Bowman, 43, of Lusby with attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault and child abuse. Bowman initially faced assault and child abuse charges.

Sheriff's deputies were investigating an abuse complaint regarding the surviving daughter last month when they discovered the remains encased in ice. Police say the 7-year-old was found by neighbors after she jumped from second-story window of the home in southern Maryland.

Bowman is a suspect but has not been charged in the deaths of the girls tentatively identified as her adopted daughters Jasmine Nicole Bowman, who would be 9, and Minnet C. Bowman, who would be 11.

Detective Sgt. Michael Moore of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office told the Washington Post that the severity of injuries to the third daughter, who was also adopted, were part of the reason for the more serious charges.

"The nature of the case took it to that level," he said.

Police have said the girl had open sores and lesions on her buttocks and lower thighs, marks on her neck made by a cord, rope or other item and bruises on her hands and lips. Authorities also have said Bowman admitted beating her with a "hard-heeled shoe."

Child abuse carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, but an attempted murder conviction could mean a life sentence.

Investigators believe the children may have been dead since at least last November, when the family moved from Rockville, about 60 miles away in Montgomery County. The medical examiner has not confirmed the girls' identities or ruled on what caused their deaths.

"We're still investigating where the girls met their deaths," said Lt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Montgomery police. "And then just again ... nailing down the timeline of when and where they were and who last saw these girls alive."

Messages left seeking comment Wednesday night were not immediately returned by the prosecutor, a lawyer listed as Bowman's public defender or Moore.

Bowman remains held without bond, and her next court appearance is set for Nov. 10.

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