- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008

UPDATED:

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (AP) – Police said Monday morning they have discovered the frozen remains of two adopted girls, whose mother said they had been in the freezer in her southern Maryland home for at least seven months, officials said.

The remains were found Saturday encased in ice, but police said they cannot be sure until autopsies are performed whether they are those of the two girls, 9 and 11.

The woman’s home is in Calvert County, about 50 miles southeast of the District. County sheriffs said they made the discovery while investigating the case of a child who had run away from the home and “showed signs of extreme abuse and neglect.”

The woman, Renee Bowman, 43, has been arrested, and a judge has ordered her held without bond. She is charged with first-degree child abuse in connection with the runaway 7-year-old girl. The girl escaped from a locked bedroom by jumping out a second-story window, and Bowman admitted to beating her with a “hard-heeled shoe,” officials said.

Police discovered the remains in a basement freezer after going to Bowman’s home with a search warrant on the abuse investigation.

Bowman told investigators that she brought the remains with her to Lusby when she moved in February from Rockville, about 60 miles away in Montgomery County.

County police Officer Melanie Brenner said authorities are investigating whether the deaths took place in Rockville.

It is not clear how the children might have died. The freezer was being transported to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore.

Authorities said Bowman adopted three children from the District. Besides the 7-year-old, the other children would now be 9 and 11, and officials said their whereabouts are currently unknown.

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