Minnet Cecila Bowman
1997  - May 2006
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Jasmine Nicole Bowman
 - May 2006
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Imagine that you are seven years old and feeling that you have to jump from a two story bedroom window in order to save your own life. That's what happened to one of the children of Renee Bowman in 2008. A beautiful seven year old child was found by her neighbors after she did just that, jumped from the window to save her own life. Infected sores, lesions and injuries on her feet and knees as well as scars on her neck, were seen on this little Angel. Police were called a search of the home this child had been living in revealed the reason she felt she had to jump that day on September 27, 2008.

In the home, Police found two more children, both girls and both dead. Minnet and Jasmine had both been adopted by Renee and along with their surviving sister, had been abused horribly. These three little girls were beaten every day and at times, they were locked into a room where they had only a bucket to use as a toilet, they were underfed as well. After the seven year old child jumped out of the window, Police found the bodies of two girls in a freezer inside the home.

Renee Bowman, the 43 year old adoptive mother, was arrested and charged with attempted murder for the child who had jumped out of the window, that child was placed in foster care. Renee was also charged with murder in the death of Minnet, who was said to be about 11 years old and Jasmine, who was said to be about nine years old. Renee told Police that one of the children had died from being staved and the other had fallen and died from that fall. Renee was charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of child abuse resulting in death and one count of child abuse in the case of the child who survived.

Child And Family Services had saw Renee as a fit parent to adopt even though she had some money trouble in the past and had filed for bankruptcy in 2001, which was the year one of the children had been adopted while the other two children had been adopted in 2004.

Lt. Paul Starks said that there was going to be a lot of time to investigate, with Renee in jail and that coordinating efforts between four different agencies would be involved. Renee's Lawyer would be Dorothy Gardner-Hodge. A search of her computer showed that while two of her daughters were already dead and the other was probably locked in her room, Renee would go online and shop for clothing and cheap jewelry.

The Medical Examiner ruled that the two girls found in the freezer had died of asphyxiation and it was thought that they had been in the freezer for at least a year. Police would not say how the girls had been asphyxiated:

"Hopefully, that's something we can come out with at some point"
Melanie Brenner - Police Spokeswoman

DNA testing was done, using the blood from the seven year old sister as well as blood from the birth mother of these children. It was reported that while she was fostering these children, Renee received about $2,400. a month for each child, before she was encouraged to adopt them.

In November of 2008, biological relatives of Minnet were holding a memorial service for her. Ivin Russell, an Uncle to Minnet said that his sister had given birth to her in 1997 and placed her to be adopted because she was using drugs and was mentally ill. Ivin was already raising three of her children from other relationships. Ivin said that even though the surviving child is not related to them, they want to raise her:

"We just want her to live with us, with her sister's family. She should be with me. She shouldn't be
back in foster care, especially after what happened to her. She needs to be with her family"

When the other children had been born, Ivin was living in another state and caring for three other children, so he had not been able to take in the other girls:

"But, I'm ready now. She should be with me"

In June of 2009, Renee was in court after telling a different story as for how these children died. Renee claimed that Minnet had been refusing to eat and had died. According to Police testimony, Renee says she took her body, wrapped it up in a blanket then secured it with duct tape and the put her in the freezer. Renee had been returned to her jail cell after she stood in front of Judge Marjorie L. Clagett and waived her right to be appear in court. All of the statements she had previously made to Police were ruled admissible in court as well as all of the items taken in the search of the home. A request to move the trial to another county was denied.

Information came out when a man who had lived with Renee was interviewed and told Police that Minnet and Jasmine had gone missing in 2006. When asked by the man where the girls were, Renee told him they had gone to live with a friend, out of state and if he questioned her further, she would get upset with him.

In February of 2010, the surviving sister, who was by then nine years old, was in court talking about the abuse she and her sisters had suffered at the hands of their mother. When asked how many times she had been choked, she said:

"I can't remember, because she did it so often I couldn't keep track"

What would it do to you:

"I couldn't breathe

Anything else:

"I would faint"

By this time, the child was referring to Renee as her ex-mother and barely even looked at her as she told of the abuse she had been through. Renee had hit this child with a bat and shoes, she told State's Attorney John McCarthy. John had sat himself in a spot where this child would not have to look at Renee as the child was being questioned and talked about how they were forced to use a bucket and not the bathroom if they needed to go, because they were not allowed out of their room. John tried to ease her discomfort bay asking her about books she reads and she said that she pretty much reads all the time. It came out in court that Renee had been trying to adopt more children and that she really had wanted a son.

Pictures were shown to jurors of the chest type of freezer that the children had been put into:

"She stuffed them into this freezer. We are actually looking at the body of Jasmine Bowman"
John McCarthy

"The first one, the oldest one, was wrapped in a blanket with ice thrown on top. The second
one was probably wrapped up in a trash bag, a green trash bag"
Renee Bowman

An e-mail that Renee had sent to a friend, was read in court:

"The girls, well, they're being themselves. They hate for me to be home because I'm like the
warden in the movie, The Green Mile, the guard used to walk the corridor and say "Dead man
Walking". I do that when they're about to get in trouble. They hate it. Hahaha"

Defense Lawyer, Ron Gottlieb, said there was more to this case than what had already been implied and that he hope the jury would keep an open mine:

"There is not enough evidence to convict Renee Bowman of first degree murder"

In court, the surviving sister could be seen smiling at her foster parents as she held a teddy bear her foster father had bought for her. This child had to talk about how she was beaten, using the teddy bear to point at the bottom and crotch of the teddy bear. The child had been told by Renee that her sisters had gone to live with a friend and that they left because they thought their sister was stupid and they didn't want to see her any more. When asked by Defense Lawyer Alan Drew why she called Renee her ex-mother, this child answered:

"I just don't like calling her by her name"

Alan Drew had his work cut out for him as this little girl was on top of things and at one point he repeated a question and she said:

"You already asked that"

Which caused the court room to burst out laughing.

At a previous court proceeding, Renee had plead guilty to the abuse of this child and she was sentenced to 25 years in prison for that crime. In February of 2010, Renee Bowman wa found guilty of five counts and sat motionless as the convictions were read. A jury member said:

"What she did was absolutely horrendous. There was an overwhelming amount of evidence"
Laurence Foley - Jury Foreman

It came out in court that Renee had collected about $152,000. for raising these girls and that a lot of that money had come after two of them were already dead:

"This woman was in it for the money and by killing the children, keeping them literally on ice, the
money continued to flow"
John McCarthy - Prosecutor

In March of 2010, a Judge said:

"You sentenced these two young innocent children in the dawn of their lives to a death chamber
and for
you that option is not available"
Judge Michael J. Alego

Renee was not eligible for the death penalty, she had this to say:

"I am very sorry for the abuse of the girls. It haunts me. It haunts me every day"

Renee was sentenced to two life sentences to be served consecutively, plus 75 years in prison, assuring that she will never leave the prison alive.

Since the trial took place in 2010, two years after Ivin Russell wanted to adopt the surviving child, I assume that the presence of her foster parents in the court room means he was not able to do so. I have not been able to find anything that says he was able to adopt her. Reports are confusing because some say he was a blood relative and others say he was not.

Death occurred in the state of Maryland
This page was created on July 8, 2014

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