LUSBY, Md. -- A neighbor whose 911 call led authorities to the discovery of child-sized human remains in a freezer described the suspect as "frazzled."
"She didn't seem like all her pieces were there," Phillip Garrett said of his one encounter with Renee Bowman
Bowman told police that child-sized human remains uncovered in her basement freezer were those of her two adopted daughters, and police in Calvert County believe that she is responsible for their deaths.
Authorities said they found the remains Saturday as they were investigating a report of an injured child.
Bowman, 43, told deputies that the remains had been frozen since at least February, according to a press release by sheriff's Lt. Bobby Jones and detective Sgt. Michael Moore Jr.
Jones and Moore said the Medical Examiner's Office asked that the entire freezer be brought to Baltimore so the evidence could be removed.
"We have reason to believe that's the two children in the freezer," Jones said. "We believe that the mother, who adopted the two children, is responsible for it."
Police said that Bowman told them she had put the bodies of the two girls in a freezer and encased them in ice. She told police when she moved from Rockville to Calvert County, she took the freezer with the bodies in it with her.
The girls would be 9 and 11.
The sheriff's office said a third girl was found by investigators Saturday after escaping from a locked bedroom by jumping out the window.
Garrett found the girl and said she was covered in bruises.
"There wasn't one spot that didn’t have a bruise. From her legs to her arms, the back of her neck to her head to her face. And she said, 'My mother beats me to death, and she kicked me out of the house. She locked me out,'" Garrett said.
Garrett, 21, who lives two houses down from Bowman, said he brought the girl to a neighbor's house, called 911 and ordered her a pizza. She indicated she had last eaten on Tuesday when her father was at the home, said Garrett, who realized he had met her mother once and described her as "frazzled."
The release by Jones and Moore said Bowman told investigators she beat the 7-year-old with a "hard-heeled shoe."
Bowman was charged with child abuse in connection with that girl, Jones and Moore said.
The girl had 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, police said.
The girl is currently in a hospital. The Maryland Department of Human Resources plans to petition the court Tuesday to gain custody and then place her in "an especially nurturing, carefully selected foster family," said Nancy Lineman, an agency spokeswoman.
Bowman has been ordered held without bond. Sheriff Mike Evans said the surviving girl was never enrolled in Calvert County Schools and that no trouble had ever been reported at the house.
The Department of Human Resources said it has no records to indicate that the department had any involvement with Bowman's family in terms of child-protective services, Lineman said. But the agency has ordered an immediate review of statewide records.
Evans said Bowman had a boyfriend who was cooperating with investigators. The boyfriend was a potential witness, but Evans would not comment on whether he was a suspect. He said the man did not live with Bowman and was not a father to her children.