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One child found dead in car trunk in Prince Frederick, second discovered in La Plata attic


Staff writer

After more than a year of police investigation, Melissa Schrae Bowen, 33, of Prince Frederick has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of manslaughter after one of her children was found dead in the trunk of a car in Prince Frederick and another of her children was found dead in an attic in La Plata.

Capt. Steve Jones of the sheriff’s office said although he cannot comment on the case, he said police are pleased with the result of the investigation thus far.

“We are happy that there is an indictment in this case,” Jones said. “It was an emotional case for law enforcement; this was an emotional case for the community.”

At 5:45 p.m. March 8, 2012, the Calvert Control Center received a phone call about a deceased newborn infant found in a trash bag inside the trunk of a car on Hallowing Point Road in Prince Frederick, according to a Calvert County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Members of the Calvert Investigative Team responded to the 5400 block of Hallowing Point Road where the infant was found in the trunk of Bowen’s four-door passenger car, according to original reports. Bowen’s parents found the body while cleaning the interior of the car at her mobile home residence, deputies said.

Through investigation, deputies discovered the baby had been born between October 2011 and January 2012, the press release states.

On Nov. 16, 2012, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a deceased newborn infant found in a suitcase in the attic of a La Plata home, according to the press release.

The fetus was found around noon that day by a family cleaning out their house and was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, according to original reports.

Police said the infant died in Huntingtown and was taken by Bowen to the La Plata home. Police believe the baby was born between January and December 2007.

Both cases were assigned to Det. M. Mudd of C.I.T. and remained open pending further investigation and autopsy results, according to the release.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, Bowen was indicted with second-degree murder and two counts of manslaughter.

She is being held at the Calvert County Detention Center on $750,000 bond.