TX TX - Three mummified infants found in crawlspace, Bangs, 2003

Discussion in 'Resolved Cold Cases' started by mysteriew, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

    Messages:
    23,795
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Two years ago today, the remains of three infants were found in the second-floor crawl space of a rural home near Bangs.

    Law enforcement officials, while saying in previous interviews that they think the case is close to being wrapped up, still aren’t ready to say what they think happened to the three.

    “I have one more hurdle that I want to clear before I’ll be ready to close it,” Texas Ranger Nick Hanna said Friday. He would not elaborate.

    Hanna confirmed what Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said in a July 8 article: that investigators have received the results of DNA analysis on the remains. Hanna would not say what the DNA has shown.

    The infants’ remains were found in a second-floor crawl space at a house on County Road 153, about five miles southeast of Bangs. Deena Roberts came across the large trash bag containing the remains while she and her husband, Stephen, were remodeling the house they had owned for about three years, authorities have said.
    http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/2005/10/23/news/news04.txt
     
  2. Loading...


  3. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

    Messages:
    2,173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wanna bet they're the remains of an incestuous family scenario?
     
  4. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

    Messages:
    14,796
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You are right I am sure. It makes me sick.What else can we do?
     
  5. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

    Messages:
    11,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wouldn't that be horrible to run into something like that? LE must have traced back every single family who has ever lived in that house. Whoever put those babies there must have thought they were home free. I wonder how long those poor little things had been there like nothing more than a bag of garbage. How sad. Out of sight...out of mind. Three babies!!!

    Do you remember the case that went to trial...on CTV not that long ago where a woman had murdered her babies but she would wrap them up and put them in boxes, etc, and when she would move she would move them with her? She did that for years. By the time they were found...I think she had left them in a storage that she had neglected to pay the monthly bill on...she had married and had like 4 teenagers or more. No one could believe she could have murdered those 3-4 babies. She had stories for the death of each child of course. She went to prison for the rest of her life.

    It will be interesting to see what story unfolds in this case. Incest or just someone who neglected to use birthcontrol but didn't want babies either.
     
  6. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

    Messages:
    23,795
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think that what bothers me is not only the fact that they kill the babies. But it is like eventually they forget about them. They move or like that lady leave them in a storage container with unpaid rent. It is like they have not only hidden them, they forgot about them!
     
  7. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

    Messages:
    2,173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    According to Steve Huff's coverage of this story, there had only been one previous family living in the home, which had been built in 1987. There are three children from that family still living in Texas, although the parents are both dead. And apparently a special door/fake closet had been built to give access to where these mummified children were stored. The adult siblings are described has having 6 years in age between each of them, and as "not being close".

    This reminds me of a Sam Shepherd play called THE BURIED CHILD.
     
  8. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is a story without beginning or end, only a middle where there is horror and confusion, tragedy and a haunting evil that cries out for understanding. Stephen King, not I, should be telling it. It takes place in the shadows of rural church spires, in an isolated part of the Texas heartland populated by God-fearing, hardworking people.

    And at least one faceless monster from long ago.

    On the final Thursday of October 2003, Stephen and Deena Roberts stood in the vacant upstairs of the large A-frame home they'd moved into three years earlier, contemplating a major remodeling project. Their two young children were fast reaching a time in their lives when they would be demanding more privacy, and the parents, in their 30s, had decided to oblige them by converting the unused upstairs space into two small bedrooms.

    Comfortable in the downstairs portion of the house that sits on 30 heavily wooded acres off Brown County Road 153, a half-dozen miles southeast of the community of Bangs, 180 miles southwest of Dallas, the Robertses had paid what they referred to as "the attic" little mind since purchasing the home in July 2000. Then the need for additional room arose.

    And now the husband and wife were assessing the structural changes to be made and the electrical wiring to be done. In the far corner of the room was a closet built out from the wall. When Deena Roberts opened it, she noticed a small door in back that obviously led to a crawl space behind it.

    Opening the door and peering into the dull grayness of the crawl space, Deena saw a single plastic trash bag just an arm's reach away. Most likely, she initially assumed, some old clothes left behind by the previous owner. Only when she retrieved the bag and began to examine its contents did she turn to her husband, unable to speak. Inside the trash bag was a paper sack. Inside the paper sack, a small sheet. And wrapped inside the sheet was something neither of the Robertses was willing at first to believe. Initially, they thought--hoped--that perhaps it might be the remains of a small animal. It was, in truth, only wishful thinking. The reality was too horrifying to comprehend. What they had found was a tiny mummified human corpse.


    The rest of the story at link: http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/2003-11-27/news/feature_1.html
     
  9. Yaya

    Yaya Esse Quam Videri

    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Reportertype, this was really interesting... I found a little more info on the homes owners and infants in later reports. Thought you might be interested.

    According to Brown County records, the property was owned by Joe D. Hopkins from 1987-88. It was then held by the Veterans Land Board from 1988-92 and purchased by James Edward Bowling in 1992. Bowling died in 1999, and his wife died in 2000, so the home was sold by the estate.

    One baby appeared to be 2 months to 4 months old, and the other two were slightly smaller, he said.
    One was wrapped in a sheet, one in a blanket and one in a towel; all were in separate bags inside the trash bag, he said.

    The three infants whose remains were found in a Brownwood home's attic likely have been dead for more than 30 years, the Travis County Medical Examiner's office said.
     
  10. Yaya

    Yaya Esse Quam Videri

    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brownwood Mystery Update
    Nearly 2 years have passed since the remains of 3 infants were found inside the wall of a Brown County home. Sheriff Bobby Grubbs says they may be close to solving the mystery. It all started when a family remodeling their home discovered the bodies in an attic wall. Medical Examiners from Austin confirmed three mummified remains of infants were inside a plastic bag. The home's only previous owners, James and Doris Bowling are deceased. Lawmen Have speculated the most likely scenario is that the infants were the children of the Bowling couple.
    http://www.ktabtv.com/Story%20Pages/November05/2005_12_2b.htm


    Steve Huff also writes about the infants on his blog... great blog post.
    http://huffcrimeblog.com/?p=347

    If not homicide, then what?
    Three adult Bowling children, separated by 6 years apiece. I have to assume, without more than these news reports to go on, that the 6 years falls between each child, and not between, say, two older children just a year apart and a younger one. By the time the third child was born, the eldest would have been at least 12. If the house was built by James Edward Bowling in 1987, it sounds as if the children were old enough by then to either nearly be out on their own, or at least in the case of the oldest, already out.

    It appears that the crawlspace was specially built. Otherwise it sounds like there wasn’t a logical need for one—the home was described in Stowers’s article as an A-frame—that is a distinctly modern style of residential architecture. If James Bowling was an electrical engineer, he wasn’t dumb, and he knew what he wanted in a home. As the son of an electrical engineer who loved to re-build and alter our tiny house as best as he could without just tearing it down, I know just how precisely the minds of men trained to understand the ins and outs of power systems can work.

     
  11. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

    Messages:
    23,795
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    3 babies, but it looks as though one baby might be older than the other two. The two might be newborn, but not clear from the article. And it doesn't say if they think they might have been killed at the same time or different times. And it doesn't give age estimates for the babies.

    I am wondering about they think the babies all died at the same time, or different times. I would think different times, since the two were skeletal, but one was mummified. No estimate as to how long they may have been there. I wonder how old Mrs. Bowling was when she died. Could give us info on how old she was when they moved into the house.
    But there have also been cases where babies died, either naturally or unnaturally and the mother carted them from address to address, until she finally gets caught.

    I remember reading about this case before. Can you imagine what the Bowling women are going through? Wondering if they had little brothers and sisters they didn't know about?
    I wish they gave out more info on this one.
     
  12. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So it appears the home was built in 1987? There appear to be some conflicting reports, as county records show a man named Hopkins owning the place while later reports say only the Bowlings lived in the house. I was wondering how old the house was and about any previous owners.

    I think it's most plausible that whoever had the crawl space built put the kids there; otherwise, they had something else to hide, based on the articles. I wonder if they ever made a different determination on the remains, other than possibly 30 years old or more.

    Thanks for the updates, Yaya. I am even more curious now.
     
  13. natasha-cupcake

    natasha-cupcake New Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am the mom of three cherished children, two of which are twins concieved by IVF. As a veteran of infertility/subfertility, and someone who connected with other women going through stillborn/miscarriage tragedies, I think I may have a different angle on this story, other than possible child murder.

    My gut feeling on this story is that these infants may have been the stillborn children of a woman who couldn't bear to part with her babies. Many infertility docs told me that widely spaced children (in terms of age) is a classic sign of subfertility. The fact that her existing children have significant age differences between them is a big clue to me. Also, the fact that they aren't particularly close as adults may indicate being raised by sad parents, preoccupied with the past.

    Who really knows, but food for thought, anyway.
     
  14. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wonder if anyone noticed the woman of the house being pregnant, such as any other children, neighbors, etc. It doesn't appear the Bowling children remember their mom pregnant again. I'm guessing the three children who sold the house were older than the three found in the crawl space. Depends on the timeline on the house and its occupants unless someone brought the remains with them.
     
  15. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe the babies were middle children, so the surviving children would be too young to remember pregnancies/births. If there are 6 years between the surviving children, why couldn't the deceased babies have been born in those years?
     
  16. Yaya

    Yaya Esse Quam Videri

    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since the house was purchased by James Edward Bowling in 1992... It would mean the infants were brought to the house with them if Mrs. Bowling was the mother. The infants remains are thought to be more than 30 years old.

    According to Brown County records, the property was owned by Joe D. Hopkins from 1987-88. It was then held by the Veterans Land Board from 1988-92. I am wondering if Mr. Hopkins was a veteran and maybe died before completely paying for the home and then the home became the property of the Land Board. The Veterans Land Board provides loans to Texas veterans for the purchase of land, and other veterans' housing assistance programs.

    Maybe someone could find out what Mr. Hopkins occupation was. Is it possible he was a doctor? Is he now dead? Could the infants be connected to him?

    "I am thinking"... if the infants were children of Mrs. Bowling that information would have already been made available and the case would be closed. DNA is time consuming but I don't think it would have taken this long to match with her other children. If it wasn't a match the case would be in further investigation, therefore explaining the long time lapse between information available from Law Enforcement.
     
  17. TECE

    TECE New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  18. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I haven't found out much about Hopkins, but I did find a James E. Bowling listed as a member of a builders' group, including contractors, in Louisville in the mid-1970s. I noticed the Huff blog said the permit to build the home had Bowlings' name on it and he was an electrical engineer, so maybe that's the same guy.
     
  19. Yaya

    Yaya Esse Quam Videri

    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Reportertype,
    I was thinking, maybe the building permit issued to Mr. Bowling was only for an addition to an existing house… but my husband said the permit would have stated that. So I guess that theory is shot. :p

    I think LE's... the stranger leaving the remains there while the house was unoccupied is a bit far-fetched.

    I would like to know where the Bowling’s lived before Brown County Road 153. Looks like I will be spending some time in the archives. I’ll see what I can find in Louisville.

    Natasha-cupcake,
    About your food for thought… it is a distinct possibility and the age difference of the children certainly lends more credence to the sad theory. The only thing I find that leads me away from it is where they were found and how they were wrapped. My gut tells me that if this mom were horribly disturbed by the loss of these children they would have been wrapped more lovingly. Maybe stored in a box also. But it is like you said… it is certainly food for thought.
     
  20. Paradise

    Paradise Member

    Messages:
    911
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Does anyone know for sure if the house sat empty while it was in the veteran administration's hands? If so maybe squatters moved in and they left the children.
     
  21. shebbear

    shebbear Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice