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Renee Denise BOWMAN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Torture - Stuffing the bodies into a freezer
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: May 2006
Date of arrest: September 2008
Date of birth: June 28, 1965
Victims profile: Jasmine, 7, and Minnet Bowman, 9 (two of her adopted daughters)
Method of murder: Suffocation with a pillow
Location: Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
Status: Sentenced to two consecutives life term in prison without parole, plus an extra 75 years on March 21, 2010

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Lubsy, Maryland 2008 - After a small bruised and battered little girl jumped out of her 2nd story bedroom window to escape her mother, police were summoned to a home to investigate. In an up-right freezer, in a basement police found the frozen bodies of 2 small little girls. They were identified as Jasmine and Minnet Bowman. They were 2 of 5 children that were adopted by their foster parent, Renee Bowman.


Renee Bowman Gets Double Life Sentence

Maryland woman who murdered daughters will have no chance of parole

By Andy Salsman -

March 22, 2010

A Maryland woman convicted of killing two of her adopted daughters and storing their bodies in a freezer was sentenced today to double life sentences without parole, plus an extra 75 years.

"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," Montgomery County Circuit Judge Michael J. Algeo told Bowman before handing down the maximum sentence. The crimes are not eligible for the death penalty in Maryland.

Bowman showed no emotion during the hearing.

"I am very sorry for the abuse of the girls," Bowman told the judge in an even voice. "It haunts me. It haunts me every day."

Last month, a Montgomery County jury had convicted Renee Bowman, 44, of two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree child abuse.

The case began in September 2008, after a third adopted daughter of Bowman's escaped their house by jumping out a window. While investigating allegations of child abuse, the Calvert County Sheriff's Department discovered two bodies in a freezer. The bodies were those of Jasmine and Minnet Bowman, believed to be ages 7 and 9 when they died.

Prosecutors said Bowman killed them while the family was living in Rockville and took the freezer with her when the family moved first to Charles County and later to Lusby, in Calvert County.

Bowman's lawyers maintain that she did not kill the girls, though they acknowledge she is guilty of abusing them. Deputy State's Attorney John Maloney said the evidence shows the children were smothered to death and that Bowman acted deliberately.

Public defender Alan Drew said the defense would appeal the murder convictions, but he declined to comment further.

Bowman kept the two young girls' bodies on ice for months while she continued to collect subsidies paid to parents who adopt special-needs children in the District of Columbia. She received a total of about $150,000 after the adoptions.

Bowman had already been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to abusing the surviving daughter, who is now 9 years old and living with foster parents. She testified at the trial about the abuse she and her sisters endured -- being beaten with a baseball bat and shoes and choked until they lost consciousness. She referred to Bowman as her "ex-mother."

"Renee Bowman's crime was brutal almost beyond human comprehension," said John J. McCarthy, state's attorney for Montgomery County. "Given the opportunity as an adoptive parent to change the lives of three children, she violated that trust in unimaginable ways."

Prosecutors had asked for life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder convictions.


Md. woman who froze girls' bodies guilty of murder, abuse

By Dan Morse - The Washington Post

February 23, 2010

A Maryland woman described by prosecutors as a torturer and maimer of her adopted girls was convicted Monday of killing two of them and stuffing their bodies into a freezer and inflicting more than 80 injuries on the third.

"What she did was absolutely horrendous," said Laurence Foley, foreman of the jury that deliberated for about 90 minutes inside a Montgomery County courthouse. "There was an overwhelming amount of evidence."

The case stunned the region and cast a spotlight on the District's child welfare agency, which had allowed Renee Bowman to adopt the three girls. She collected $152,000 for raising the children, according to trial testimony, with many payments arriving after two of them had been dead and put in the freezer.

"This woman was in it for the money. And by killing the children, keeping them literally on ice, the money continued to flow," Montgomery County prosecutor John McCarthy said in his closing argument.

The children she killed, Minnet and Jasmine, would have been 12 and 11 now. Their bodies, 52 pounds each, were found in September 2008. Detectives could not determine when they were killed but said that they had been asphyxiated and that their bodies could have been in the freezer for more than two years.

Bowman, who faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole, sat impassively as the five-count verdict was read, her hands clasped on a table in front of her, as they had been for much of the four-day trial. She cocked her head slightly as one of the child-abuse findings was read.

During the trial, jurors learned a lot about Bowman, 44. She kept the three girls in her Rockville house, inside a bedroom with the door lock reversed. She forced them to use a bucket as a toilet and beat them with a bat and the heel of a shoe. She moved to Charles County and Calvert County with the bodies of the girls inside the freezer, prosecutors said.

They presented e-mails that Bowman had written in recent years, showing her carrying on as if nothing was wrong.

To one friend, she joked about dispensing discipline: "I'm like the WARDEN . . . THEY HATE IT. hahaaha. How are you? You doing alright? How's your thyroid and stuff?"

To an adoption organization in South Carolina, she wrote that she wanted to add a boy to her family. "I am very much interested in Cameron. He would make a lovely addition to our loving home."

The horror to which Bowman subjected the children came to light about 17 months ago. A badly beaten 7-year-old girl was found walking down a street in Lusby, about 55 miles southeast of Washington. She told residents and police who came to her aid that she had just jumped out of the second-floor window of her home.

The girl became the trial's most compelling witness. In heart-wrenching detail, she talked about how her "ex-mother" choked her so many times she couldn't count, and how Minnet and Jasmine had been choked.

After her two older sisters were no longer in the house, the girl testified, Bowman told her that the girls left to live somewhere else because they thought their younger sister was stupid and never wanted to see her again. But on the witness stand, the girl, who is 9 and being raised by foster parents in Calvert, came across as sharp and poised, at one point politely correcting a defense attorney for repeating his question.

"She's a beautiful girl," said Foley, the jury foreman. "The prosecutors called her 'the miracle child.' It was kind of over the top. But she really was."

Foley and two other jurors pointed to other compelling evidence against Bowman, including the results of the slain girls' autopsies and a recording played in court of Bowman speaking to that they'd been wrapped up and placed inside a freezer.

"Who wrapped them up in the blanket?" Detective Ronnie Naughton asked.

"I did," Bowman said, her voice starting to crack.

"Who put them in the plastic bag?"

"I did."

"Who put them in the freezer?"

"I did."

"And who put the ice on them?"

"I did."

In his closing argument, defense attorney Alan Drew noted that Bowman told detectives that the children died by causes other than asphyxiation: Minnet after she stopped eating and Jasmine after she fell and hit her head.

In their deliberations, jurors quickly concluded that Bowman was guilty of first-degree child abuse of all three girls and first-degree murder of Jasmine, according to three jurors interviewed.

The panel then deliberated whether to convict Bowman of premeditated murder in the case of Minnet.

One compelling witness who pushed them to the higher charge was Janet Buchmiller, Bowman's former cellmate in the Calvert County jail, who said Bowman told her that she had smothered two of her children with a pillow. "She told Buchmiller the real secret," said juror Alex Roberts, 18. "She felt comfortable telling her what really happened."

Prosecutors also described how police found a lengthy printout of testimony from a D.C. child abuse case in Bowman's house. Prosecutor John Maloney suggested that she was preparing her defense should her crimes be discovered.

"Who has night reading of grand-jury testimony, over an inch thick, from a D.C. child abuse case?" Maloney asked jurors, holding up the document. "That's what she reads at nighttime, down in Calvert County."


Cellmate says Md. woman confessed to killing adopted girls

By Dan Morse - The Washington Times

February 19, 2010

A former prison cellmate of a woman accused of killing two of her daughters and stuffing their bodies into a freezer testified Thursday that the woman confessed to her she suffocated them with a pillow.

"She smothered them," said Janet Buchmiller, whose recollections about conversations in a tiny prison cell came on the second day of Renee Bowman's murder trial in Montgomery County.

Bowman is accused of killing two girls she adopted and beating a third. Prosecutors said she killed the two in Montgomery County in either 2006 or 2007 and took the freezer with her when she moved to Charles County and then Calvert County.

Buchmiller said that in the prison cell, Bowman told her what she did with the bodies: "She set them in the freezer and took the bike lock off the girls' bike and put it on there."

Prosecutors are building the case against Bowman, 44, on several fronts. Among them, according to prosecutors: In an interview with detectives, Bowman herself described how she put the bodies in the freezer; Bowman's third child, who escaped from her house by jumping out a window, testified Wednesday that she saw Bowman choke her sisters and that Bowman beat and choked her; and Bowman's fingerprints were found on tape wrapped around one of the bodies in the freezer.

Buchmiller confirmed other parts of the prosecution's case. She said Bowman told her that she had reversed locks on a room in her house, which kept the three children inside, and Bowman told her the children had to use a bucket for a toilet.

Under cross examination, one of Bowman's attorneys, Alan Drew, worked to establish that Buchmiller was motivated to try to improve her own standing with the system. Buchmiller acknowledged that at one point, while incarcerated, she met with law enforcement officers and said, "If I can get back in there with her, I can get you more details."

But Buchmiller, 29, said she gained nothing from sharing the information and served her full sentence in jail, which stemmed from a sex-offense conviction.

In an interview after her testimony, she said she is still haunted by the 10 or so days with Bowman inside the cell, which she said was 6 feet by 4 feet.

She said she slept on a bed near the floor, which partially went under Bowman's bed. In a cell that small, she said, there's not much to do but talk.

"I know she's guilty," Buchmiller said. "She never cried about her kids. There was no remorse."

She said she was glad she testified: "I want there to be peace for those girls, all three of the girls."


9-Year-Old Says "Ex-Mom" Renee Bowman Murdered Step-Sisters, Kept Bodies in Freezer

By Kealan Oliver -

February 18, 2010

ROCKVILLE, Md. (CBS/AP) A 9-year-old girl, holding her Valentine's Day teddy bear, testified Wednesday against Renee Bowman, the woman she calls her "ex-mother" and her step-sisters' executioner.

Bowman is on trial in Montgomery County for the deaths of her two adopted special needs daughters, Minnet Cecila Bowman and Jasmine Nicole Bowman, whose bodies were found in a freezer in her Lusby home in September of 2008.

The girl, who was 7 at the time, was found half-naked and covered in blood after escaping from her home. She came to court with her new foster parents, wearing a red dress and holding a big white bear with a heart on it. She stood in the witness stand and answered questions, with her "ex-mother" in the room.

The girl, who occasionally flashed a big smile and waved at her foster parents, said she and her sisters were kept in a locked room of the house where they lived in Rockville, Maryland.

"There was a bucket where we went to the bathroom because we weren't allowed out of the room," she said.

The girl said Bowman repeatedly beat her and her sisters with a baseball bat and a shoe. She also stated she was beaten the worst on "the back part and the front part," using her teddy bear to demonstrate where she was hit. She pointed to its backside and its crotch.

Never looking at her "ex-mother," the girl said Bowman also choked her and her sisters. Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy asked how many times and she answered, "I can't remember because she did it so often I couldn't keep track."

Officials say the two daughters, Jasmine and Minnet, were killed more than three years ago. They would have been 11 and 12 today.

Bowman moved from around Maryland. Prosecutors say she brought a large freezer containing the bodies of Jasmine and Minnet with her each time she moved and continued to receive subsidies for all three children from the District of Columbia, where the girls were adopted. The subsidies are given to parents who adopt special-needs children from foster care.

The girl testified that her "ex-mother" told her Jasmine and Minnet had gone to live with a friend. She said Bowman told her that her sisters had said "that I was stupid and dumb and they didn't want to see me anymore."

Defense attorney Alan Drew asked the girl about the term "ex-mother."

"I just don't like calling her by her name," she said.

Drew didn't have an easy time cross-examining the witness. When he repeated himself at one point, she told him: "You already asked that." The courtroom erupted in laughter.

It's likely to be the last funny moment in a gruesome trial. Bowman has already pleaded guilty to abusing the surviving girl and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.


Adoptive mom accused of killing kids and freezing bodies goes on trial in Md.

By Dan Morse - The Washington Post

February 18, 2010

At times sweet and always poised, a 9-year-old girl mesmerized a Montgomery County courtroom Wednesday with the harrowing story of life inside the home of Renee Bowman.

Bowman is accused of killing the girl's sisters and stuffing their bodies into a freezer for more than a year in a crime that stunned the region and cast a spotlight on D.C.'s child welfare agency, which had allowed Bowman to adopt the three girls.

Seated in a witness chair 20 feet from Bowman for 30 minutes, the girl testified publicly for the first time about what she and her sisters endured.

How many times, a prosecutor asked, did Bowman choke her?

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

"What would it do to you?"

"I couldn't breathe."

"Anything else?"

"I would faint."

The girl, who escaped by jumping out a second-floor window about 17 months ago, testified in the first day of Bowman's trial. Bowman is charged with killing two girls and abusing the third.

The 9-year-old survivor, who is being raised by foster parents in Calvert County, repeatedly referred to Bowman as her "ex-mother." She paid little attention to Bowman, seated to her left. Her eyes might have darted that way during cross examination, but for the most part she looked at the lawyers while she spoke.

Officials have guarded the girl's privacy as she tries to start a new life with new parents.

She said she saw Bowman, who kept the three girls locked inside a room, choke her two sisters: Minnet, who would be 12 now, and Jasmine, who would be 11. Detectives never learned exactly when they died but said it happened when the family lived in Rockville in 2006 or 2007, before Bowman moved to Charles County and then Calvert. The girls died of asphyxiation, according to their autopsies.

The surviving girl, wearing glasses and a bright red dress, said Bowman beat her with a bat and a white shoe. On the witness stand, she held a white teddy bear and pointed to places on the bear to show where she said Bowman beat her.

Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy sat down while the girl testified, doing so in a way that the child didn't have to look in Bowman's direction. McCarthy asked what the girls did inside the locked room if they had to go to the bathroom.

"Used the bucket," the girl said.

"Used the bucket. . . . Can you explain to these people, what did you mean by 'used the bucket?' "

"There was a bucket where we went to the bathroom because we weren't allowed out of the room to use the bathroom."

As wrenching as her testimony was, it was also interjected with comments that came across as charming -- her new foster father had bought her the teddy bear for Valentine's Day -- and funny. Even the judge, Michael J. Algeo, laughed at some testimony.

At one point, McCarthy tried to make her comfortable by asking her about books.

"How much do you read?"

"Mmm, 24/7."

When McCarthy asked her to speak up, he did so by telling her to use the voice she would use to call out to her mother. The girl looked at her new foster parent, who was in the front row of the courtroom, and smiled and waved.

"Hi, Mommy!" she yelled out.

Bowman, 44, sat calmly through much of Wednesday's proceedings showing little expression.

During opening statements in the morning, McCarthy said Bowman tortured all three children, yet was actively trying to adopt more and wanted a son.

After her arrest, Bowman told investigators that she smothered the two girls, McCarthy said.

"She stuffed them into this freezer," McCarthy said, as an image of a freezer was projected for jurors. The girls' bodies were stuffed into a chest-type freezer, which has a door on top.

Another photo projected for jurors showed an image after the freezer door was lifted. Jurors could see what looked to be a toe, coming through a dark, plastic garbage bag, surrounded by cubed ice. "We are actually looking at the body of Jasmine Bowman," McCarthy said.

McCarthy played to jurors an audiotape of Bowman's interview with Calvert detectives.

"The first one, the oldest one, was wrapped in a blanket, with ice thrown on top," Bowman told the detectives in the recording.

The second child "was probably wrapped up in a trash bag, a green trash bag," Bowman said.

McCarthy also read an e-mail Bowman had written to a friend while the family lived in Rockville.

"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."

In his opening statement, defense attorney Ron Gottlieb spoke for about five minutes and didn't offer a specific alternative version of events. But he said there was more to the case than what McCarthy had said and implored jurors to keep an open mind.

"There is not enough evidence to convict Renee Bowman of first-degree murder," Gottlieb said.


2 Maryland Girls Found in Freezer Had Signs of Previous Abuse, Court Papers Say

By Dan Morse - The Washington Post

July 2, 2009

The bodies of two girls found in a freezer in Maryland showed signs of abuse before their deaths, with one having suffered broken bones in her hand and arms, according to documents filed in circuit court yesterday.

The body of the other girl showed lacerations on her scalp, according to the documents, written by a Montgomery County homicide detective to support murder and child abuse charges against Renee D. Bowman. The girls' surviving sister told detectives that she and her siblings were beaten and choked by Bowman, who kept them locked in their room and forced them to use a bucket when they had to go to the bathroom, according to the documents.

Bowman, who adopted the three children in the District, has been in jail since fall. She is accused of killing the two girls in Montgomery, and then moving, with them in the freezer, to Southern Maryland. The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the girls died of asphyxiation.

The case against Bowman began in September, when a 7-year-old girl was found wandering in a neighborhood in Calvert County, about 60 miles southeast of Washington. Detectives searched her house and discovered the two bodies, encased in ice, in a freezer. The bodies were later identified as those of Minnet C. Bowman, who would have been 11 at the time of the discovery, and Jasmine N. Bowman, who would have been 9, according to authorities.

Calvert authorities charged Bowman with attempted murder and other offenses in connection with the girl found wandering in the neighborhood. Bowman's trial in that matter is set for September.

Since the discovery of the bodies, detectives in Montgomery have been looking at Bowman's actions when she lived in Rockville. The statement of charges filed yesterday, signed by homicide detective Patrick McNerney, are part of the case against her in Montgomery.

In 2006, Bowman had a live-in boyfriend in Rockville. He later told detectives that Minnet and Jasmine had gone missing that year, according to the charging documents. When the boyfriend asked Bowman where they'd gone, she told him they were living in another state with a friend, the documents say. When the boyfriend continued to ask, "he would be berated by" Bowman, according to the documents.

Bowman's attorney, Dorothy Gardner-Hodge, did not immediately respond to a phone call to her office yesterday evening. In the past, she has declined to discuss the case.


Details Emerge in Case of Calvert Woman Accused of Killing Adopted Daughters

By Matt Zapotosky - The Washington Post

June 6, 2009

The Calvert County woman accused of killing her two adopted daughters and storing their bodies in a freezer initially told investigators the girls were alive and well, living with a relative in Virginia, a detective said in court yesterday.

But Renee D. Bowman soon changed her story, the detective said, saying one of the girls, Minnet, died two years earlier after refusing to eat. She said she wrapped Minnet's body in a blanket and bundled it with duct tape, the detective said.

Bowman, 43, is also charged with the attempted murder of her surviving adopted daughter, now 8. Authorities have said that the girl had infected sores and lesions, injuries to her feet and knees, and ligature marks and extensive scarring on her neck. After she escaped from Bowman's Lusby home in September, authorities investigated and found the bodies of her sisters.

At a hearing to determine what evidence would be admissible in the attempted murder case, Sgt. Ronald Naughton of the Calvert sheriff's office described portions of a Sept. 27 interview with Bowman.

He said Bowman told him she placed Minnet's body in a freezer. He did not say what happened to the other girl who was killed, Jasmine Nicole, but sources familiar with the case have said Bowman told detectives she died after a fall.

Bowman is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Montgomery County, where the killings are thought to have occurred. Minnet would have been 11, and Jasmine Nicole would have been 9. Bowman was living in the Aspen Hill area when the girls were killed. Detectives believe they died of asphyxiation.

Bowman had been a foster parent to each of the three girls and received $2,400 a month from a program that encourages adoption of children who are wards of the state.

In court yesterday, after a lengthy conversation at the bench of Judge Marjorie L. Clagett, Bowman waived her right to appear. She was returned to jail.

Clagett ultimately ruled that all of Bowman's statements to police would be admissible, as would items seized during the execution of two search warrants. Those items included shoes, a shower curtain and a bar of soap that had been stained with blood. Clagett also rejected a defense request that the trial be moved to another county because of pretrial publicity.


Md. Woman Is Charged In Deaths Of 2 Girls

By Dan Morse - The Washington Post

March 30, 2009

Montgomery police have obtained a warrant charging Renee Bowman with murder in the slayings of two adopted children whose bodies were found in her Southern Maryland freezer last year, the county's state's attorney and police said yesterday.

Bowman, who has been in the Calvert County jail since September, probably will be served with a copy of the charging documents this week, said John McCarthy, the state's attorney. Detectives think that Bowman killed the girls in May 2006 when she was leasing a home in the Aspen Hill area and that the girls died of asphyxiation, McCarthy said.

Bowman, 43, came to the attention of law enforcement last year, when the girls' 7-year-old sister jumped out of a bedroom window of Bowman's home in Lusby and was spotted by a neighbor. She was infected with sores and lesions and had injuries on her feet and knees, ligature marks and extensive scarring on her neck.

Calvert authorities charged Bowman with attempted murder of the 7-year-old and child abuse and have been holding her in the county jail since then.

When investigators searched Bowman's home, they found the two bodies in the freezer. They were later identified as those of Jasmine Nicole Bowman, who would be about 9, and Minnet C. Bowman, who would be about 11.

Bowman told authorities that one of the girls died of starvation and that the other died after a fall, law enforcement sources have said. Montgomery police have said they long suspected the slayings took place in their jurisdiction.

The warrant charges Bowman with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of child abuse resulting in death and one count of child abuse relating to the surviving girl. Investigators said they think she kept the bodies in the freezer for at least a year while she moved from Montgomery to Charles County to Calvert.

With Bowman locked up, detectives had more time to investigate before placing charges, said Lt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery police spokesman. The investigation involved coordinating efforts among four agencies in Montgomery and Calvert, he said.

Investigators have determined that while in Montgomery, Bowman beat all three children, Starks said. At times, she kept her children in a locked room, forcing them to urinate in a bucket, he said.

Bowman will first face charges in Calvert. In October, she was indicted there on attempted murder and other charges in the alleged abuse of her surviving daughter, according to court records. She is scheduled to be tried Sept. 28.

Her attorney, Dorothy Gardner-Hodge, could not be reached yesterday.

The surviving girl, now 8, was hospitalized for several days after fleeing her mother's home. She then moved in with a foster family in Calvert, where officials said this year she was safe and doing well.

After the criminal charges in Calvert are resolved, Bowman will be brought to Montgomery to face the murder charges, McCarthy said.

The case has heightened concerns about child welfare services in the District. Bowman, who had been a foster parent to each of the three girls, received $2,400 a month from a program that encourages adoption of children who are wards of the state.

The city's Child and Family Services Agency recommended Bowman as a suitable adoptive parent, even though she had filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, the year she adopted one child, and had just emerged from it in 2004, when she adopted two others.

At times while the bodies were in the freezer, Bowman sat at her computer and went shopping for clothes. She considered faux-fur cropped jackets and bought a pair of inexpensive ones on eBay. She also bought a gold ring with fake diamonds shaped into a heart for $27.01 and a gold bracelet that said "I Love You" for $36.


Two Sisters Found in Mother's Freezer Had Been Asphyxiated

By Aaron C. Davis - The Washington Post

December 18, 2008

The two girls found in September in a freezer in their mother's home in Calvert County died from asphyxiation, according to a ruling by the Maryland medical examiner's office, authorities said yesterday.

The girls' mother, Renee Bowman, has told investigators that one of the girls died of starvation and that the other died after a fall, law enforcement sources have said. Investigators think the bodies probably were in the freezer for at least a year as Bowman, 43, moved from Montgomery County to Charles County to Calvert.

Montgomery police announced the medical examiner's finding but declined to say how the girls were asphyxiated.

"Hopefully, that's something we can come out with at some point," said Melanie Brenner, a Montgomery police spokeswoman. Detectives from Montgomery and Calvert continue to investigate the homicides, she said.

The girls' bodies were found Sept. 27 after their 7-year-old sister, who was covered in bruises, was found wandering near Bowman's Lusby home. Bowman was indicted in October on attempted first-degree murder, child abuse and other charges related to that girl, the youngest of her three daughters.

Bowman is a suspect in the homicides of the other two girls but has not been charged in their deaths.

The girls' bodies have been identified as those of Bowman's adopted daughters Jasmine Nicole Bowman, who would have been 9, and Minnet Cecila Bowman, who would have been 11. A family acquaintance helped provide tentative IDs in October. Brenner said positive scientific identifications have since been made using comparative DNA testing.

One sample used to make the identification came from the 7-year-old, a sister of one of the victims, according to a source close to the investigation. The other came from the birth mother of one of the two girls, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

The case has heightened concerns about child welfare services in the District, where the adoptions took place. Bowman, who had been a foster parent to each of the three girls, received $2,400 a month from a federal program that encourages adoption of children who are wards of the state.



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