Invisible Children

Minnet and Jasmine Bowman and Sister

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Minnet (age 9) and Jasmine (age 7) Bowman were murdered in 2006 by their adoptive mother, Renee Bowman, their bodies stored in her basement freezer. The murders were discovered two years later when their then-7-year-old sister jumped out of a second-story window to escape imprisonment in her room. She was found by authorities with 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. Renee Bowman had adopted Minnet in 2001 and Jasmine and the youngest girl (who were biological siblings) in 2004. She received $2,400 total per month in adoption subsidies for the girls since they were considered to be special needs children, and continued to collect subsidies after their deaths. Minnet was originally enrolled in preschool, but after an employee began to suspect neglect Bowman withdrew the girl and decided to homeschool all three of the girls. Bowman claimed that Minnet died of starvation and that Jasmine died in an argument when Bowman pushed her and her head hit the wall. However, Bowman later told a cellmate that she had smothered both of her daughters with a pillow, and autopsy results showed both girls had died of asphyxiation. Minnet died with broken bones in her arms and hand while Jasmine suffered lacerations to her scalp. While the dates of their death are unknown, Bowman’s boyfriend Joe Dickerson claimed that Minnet disappeared in May 2006 and Jasmine in June 2006. Bowman told Dickerson she had sent the girls to another state to live with a friend. With her daughters’ bodies in the freezer, Bowman moved to Charles County, where CPS investigating an anonymous tip found no evidence to substantiate abuse of the remaining daughter. Then Bowman, freezer still in tow, moved to Lusby, where neighbors were unaware that a child was living in her house. When the girl finally escaped, she was wearing only a t-shirt stained with excrement and she reported that she had been beaten with a hard-heeled shoe. She was taken to the hospital and eventually placed in foster care. Police investigating the allegations discovered the other girls’ bodies in the freezer. Renee Bowman pled guilty in September 2009 to charges of first-degree child abuse in Calvert County and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In 2010, she was tried in Montgomery County and convicted of two counts of murder and three counts of child abuse and sentenced to life without parole.

Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Lusby, Maryland

Documents: Date:
2 bodies found in freezer 2007-09-30
Calvert Authorities Find Children’s Frozen Corpses 2008-09-29
Mom tells cops icy bodies in freezer are her kids 2008-09-29
Human Remains Found in Woman’s Home Freezer 2008-09-29
Girls found in freezer could have died in Montgomery County 2008-09-29
Human Remains Found in Adoptive Mother’s Freezer, Police Say 2008-09-29
Calvert County Sheriff’s Press Release 2008-09-29
Officials: Child Abuse Victims Were Adopted in D.C. 2008-09-29
Human remains found in freezer during search 2008-09-29
Calvert Woman Arrested in Deaths of Two Children 2008-09-29
Human Remains Found in Freezer of Lusby Home 2008-09-29
Dead girls’ remains found in freezer 2008-09-29
Child bodies found in US freezer 2008-09-29
Children’s remains found in Calvert Co. freezer 2008-09-29
Bowman Family Friend Says She Knew Something Was Wrong 2008-09-30
Woman Met Adoption Requirements, D.C. Officials Say 2008-09-30
Md. Mother Jailed After Bodies Of 2 Children Found in Freezer 2008-09-30
Md. police: Frozen remains date back to last year 2008-10-01
More Tests Are Needed To ID Girls In Freezer 2008-10-01
Initial autopsy of frozen remains did not show cause of death 2008-10-02
Starvation, Injury Cited as Causes of Girls’ Deaths 2008-10-02
Cops: Children Could Have Been Dead for Months 2008-10-02
Pre-autopsy exam reveals little 2008-10-03
Social workers found no problem at Bowman home 2008-10-03
A Blow to Everyone’s Heart 2008-10-04
Mother of frozen children assuaged caseworker 2008-10-04
Social services investigated adopted mother 2008-10-04
Daughter of Abuse Suspect Is Released From Hospital 2008-10-04
Young Deaths That Diminish Us All 2008-10-04
A tragic case 2008-10-05
Secrecy on Adoptions Understandable — and Wrong 2008-10-05
Frozen Children, Icy Silence–Time To Adopt Openness 2008-10-05
Fenty Welcomes Deal on Child Welfare Reforms 2008-10-07
DC considers checks on adoptive parents 2008-10-08
Detectives Identify Girls Found Dead in Freezer 2008-10-09
Names of Girls Found in Maryland Freezer Released 2008-10-09
Friend confirms identity of girls found in freezer 2008-10-09
Adoption Subsidies Get Little Oversight 2008-10-09
Lusby Neighbors Reach Out To Girl, 7 2008-10-09
Adoption Subsidies Get Little Oversight 2008-10-09
Adopted Girls’ Suffering Rooted in Mothers’ Woes 2008-10-16
Mother investigated for neglect 2008-10-17
Dead Girls’ Mother Indicted In Abuse Of 3rd Child 2008-10-22
Charges Upgraded Against Bowman 2008-10-23
Freezer remains suspect indicted in child’s abuse 2008-10-23
Slain Girls’ Relatives Trying To Adopt 2008-11-03
Relatives Want Adopted Sister Of Slain Girl 2008-11-03
Medical Examiner Determines Bowman’s Daughters were Asphyxiated 2008-12-17
Attorney requests more time 2009-01-07
Auction to benefit surviving Bowman girl 2009-01-14
State of Maryland v Renee Denise Bowman – Statement of Charges 2009-03-27
Md. Woman Is Charged In Deaths Of 2 Girls 2009-03-30
Mother’s attorneys want abuse trial moved 2009-05-22
Details Emerge in Case of Woman Accused of Killing Daughters 2009-06-06
Jury Indicts Bowman in Theft, Daughters’ Deaths 2009-06-18
Woman Indicted in Killing Daughters, Taking D.C. Aid 2009-06-19
Woman charged in daughters’ deaths to be extradited 2009-07-02
Accused Mother Arraigned in Deaths of Two Girls 2009-07-02
State moves for new evidence against Renee Bowman 2009-08-14
Plea hearing set today for Renee Bowman 2009-09-11
Md. mother pleads guilty to severe child abuse 2009-09-11
Md. mother pleads guilty to severe child abuse 2009-09-11
Grieving Father Sues Church and DC 2009-11-05
Mother Accused Of Killing Adopted Daughters Goes On Trial Today 2009-11-09
Md. woman sentenced for severe child abuse 2010-01-08
Woman In Frozen-Body Case Gets 25 Years In Prison 2010-01-08
Md. woman gets 25 years for abusing her daughter 2010-01-08
Mother of dead frozen girls won’t go for insanity defense 2010-02-14
Trial starts Tuesday for woman charged with killing daughters 2010-02-15
Jury seated in murder trial of former Aspen Hill woman 2010-02-17
‘Child testifies in Md. mother’s murder trial 2010-02-17
Murder trial begins in case of Md. woman charged with killing daughters 2010-02-17
9-Year-Old Says “Ex-Mom” Renee Bowman Murdered Step-Sisters, Kept Bodies in Freezer 2010-02-18
Cellmate: Defendant admitted smothering her daughters 2010-02-18
Cellmate: Bowman ‘tortured’ her daughters 2010-02-19
Md. mom convicted of killing kids found in freezer 2010-02-22
Md. woman who froze girls’ bodies guilty of murder, abuse 2010-02-23
Prosecutor calls Bowman murder case one of worst he has seen 2010-02-24
Killer adoptive mom sentenced to life without parole 2010-03-23
Moms who kill: The crimes of Renee Bowman 2012-11-06