BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The crime is so brutal, it’s sending shock waves through Baltimore–a robbery where Bloods gang members tied up and strangled a 16-year-old and then set her body on fire.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren spoke to the victim’s mother.
The family praised community members for having the courage to give information that brought some justice in this case. It comes as police crack down on gangs in the city this week.
Police say 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers went through hell at the hands of two Bloods gang members who met her at a party and then targeted and terrorized her, robbing her grandmother’s home, dragging her into the basement, sexually assaulting her, suffocating her with electrical cord and setting her on fire.
Her grandmother, Sandra Bowers, praised the police and those who gave them the information to make the arrests.
“We just need to pick our friends wisely. We understand that this world has many dangers. And you do have to be cautious. You really do,” she said. “Stand tall in your faith. You’re going to be tried. Oh, you’re going to be tried. But don’t give up on our young folks. Don’t ever give up on them.”
Doctor Ted Sutton, a former gang member who now mediates disputes, says this killing has even stunned those who run the gangs.
“To hear what happened to that young girl, my heart was broken,” Dr. Sutton said.
This week, police announced indictments against 25 gang members, including leaders of the BGF and a West Baltimore street crew behind the shooting of a nine-year-old.
Sutton says the key to solving the cycle of killings and retaliation is early intervention.
“When they have a problem and they feel they’ve got to handle this beef or deal with this dispute with a firearm, they don’t have somebody who can stop them,” said Sutton. “Unless certain things change, it’s going to be a rough summer.”
As for Arnesha Bowers, her heartbroken mother told WJZ this about her only child: “They have ripped my heart out and turned my world upside down. She was a bright light and now she will forever shine in my heart.”
Arnesha had taken her SATs. She was looking at which college she wanted to go to. Now her family is planning her funeral.
Both Adonay Dixon and John Childs, those charged in Arnesha’s death, had prior criminal records.