Two suspects are in Baltimore police custody for last week’s murder of 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers. Police credit neighbors and witnesses for the swift arrest of the two suspects, who were taken into custody last Thursday.
Police say that Adonay Dixon, 23, and John Childs, 20, broke into the teen’s house and sexually assaulted her before strangling her and setting the home on fire. They have both been charged with first-degree murder.
“Killers,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told The Baltimore Sun. “A 16-year-old, innocent teenager… Nothing is more important than tracking down and jailing cowards to take the life of an innocent child. Nothing.”
Police say that Bowers had befriended both of the suspects, who are alleged members of the Bloods gang, and had spent that afternoon at Child’s apartment. After she left, Dixon followed Bowers home to her grandmother’s house, which, according to the police report, he and Childs planned to rob because “they believed the house would contain items of value because Arnesha’s grandmother has a job and owned two vehicles.”
The pair returned to the home later that evening, knowing that Bowers would be asleep and home alone while her grandmother worked the night shift at her job. Bowers awoke after she heard the two enter through a basement window. Childs told police that Dixon forced the teen into the basement while Childs searched the home. After 30 minutes, Childs says that Dixon returned and told them that he had killed Bowers and set the home on fire. Only Childs has confessed to the crime.
“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 said to the Sun. “I can only imagine what the last moments of Arnesha’s life was like. It must have been pure hell.”
Baltimore just had its most violent month in 25 years—there were 42 homicides in May—and Batts is asking that community members continue to be forthcoming with any crime tips.
“We are in the battle,” Batts said to the Sun, pledging to continue fighting the growing crime rate. “You can see we are in the battle, and we’re showing you we are in the battle, and we’re taking this very seriously.”