Baltimore Police officials called 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers’ final moments “pure hell.” After meeting two young men at a party, police allege the pair robbed Bowers’ home, sexually assaulted the teen, strangled her with an electrical cord, and then set her body on fire.
“Can you imagine leaving your child at home and two people come into her house hell-bent on death and destruction?” Police Maj. Stanley Bradford asked reporters. Bradford heads up Baltimore’s busy homicide unit, which has been scrambling to deal with the city’s recent spike in murders.
“I can only imagine what the last moments of Arnesha’s life was like,” Bradford said. “It must have been pure hell.”
Last week, police announced they charged two men, Adonay Dixon and John Childs, with first-degree murder for Bowers’ death, and had arrested 11 other suspected gang members who they claim are responsible for the sharp increase in violence in the city.
According to police, Dixon, 23, and Childs, 20, decided to rob Bowers’ home after meeting her at the party. When the teen’s grandmother picked her up, Dixon followed them home on a bike to find out where she lived. He later returned with Childs.
The Baltimore Sun gives more details about the vicious slaying.
Police said the men knew Bowers’ grandmother was working and Bowers was home alone. If the teen awoke, police said, Dixon planned to put her in a chokehold.
The pair entered through a basement window, police said. Bowers awoke, police said, and Dixon dragged her into the basement while Childs ransacked the home, taking money from purses and a safe.
According to police, Childs told detectives that Dixon and Bowers were in the basement for 30 minutes.
Then Dixon came upstairs and said they needed to leave “because the house was on fire,” police said. Dixon told Childs the girl was dead, police said.
Her body had been set on fire, as had her bed, dresser and a basement utility room, police said. They said a check of her phone showed calls between her phone and a phone belonging to Dixon hours before she was killed.
Police called the pair’s scheme “evil,” noting they brutally murdered the high school junior for $40, an iPad and a laptop.
Bowers is the tenth Black woman or girl to be murdered in Baltimore this year, and the latest in a long line of Black female homicide victims nationwide.
While the overwhelming majority of Black murder victims are African-American men, the murder of Black women and girls gets largely overshadowed and forgotten. Whether Black women are killed by police, or by Black men, the real tragedy is our sisters are dying and their lives barely garner a mention.