Police in Georgia have arrested the man they say stabbed an elderly woman to death at her home inside a gated community.
Antonio Brown, 23, was arrested in connection with the death of 77-year-old Eleanor Bowles, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced during a press conference Monday.
Bowles was found stabbed to death at her home Saturday, Dec. 10, inside the Paces West neighborhood, a gated community in the wealthy Buckhead area of Atlanta.
“A resident spotted Mr. Brown and contacted the Atlanta Police Department, who were able to make an arrest,” Dickens said.
Police had released surveillance footage from a neighbor’s security camera showing a man apparently getting into a Lexus SUV that belonged to Bowles.
“What we do know is that he entered into the complex on foot,” Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said at Monday’s press conference. “How he bypassed the security gate is still under investigation, so we’re still combing through video to see how he accessed those gates.”
Prior to Brown’s arrest, police indicated that the suspect may have been trying to steal the elderly woman’s car.
“The motive appears to be a crime interrupted,” Atlanta Police Homicide Commander Lt. Germain Dearlove said at a press conference Sunday, when authorities released the security footage. “We believe the individual attempted to steal the vehicle. Ms. Bowles may have encountered him.”
Brown was arrested within 24 hours of the image being released, according to local news station WXIA.
Dearlove said the security footage was taken at or around 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Officers responded to a call to the house at around 5:50 p.m. that day.
“Upon arrival, officers located a 77-year-old female victim inside the residence who was not alert, conscious, or breathing and had sustained multiple lacerations,” Atlanta Police said in a press release Sunday. “The victim was pronounced deceased on the scene.”
Bowles was discovered by her son, Michael Bowles, who was visiting for the holidays.
According to WXIA, Michael Bowles said that what happened to his mother was “her worst nightmare.”
“I was on my way to visit her for the holidays and got to her just a few hours too late,” he said during a vigil for his mother. “Finding her like that is something that will be with me forever.”
David Bowles, father to Eleanor Bowles’ two granddaughters, also spoke about his mother at the vigil, according to WXIA.
“I know that my mother loved her grandchildren very much – loved Michael and me very much. She was a wonderful, kind, generous woman,” he said.
David Bowles said that he intends to keep his mother’s memory alive by pushing for local change.
“I’m committed to getting the word out about this outrageous tragedy,” he said. “I want everyone to understand that none of us are really safe and if it can happen to mom, it can happen to anyone. I hope that enough people hear this awful story and understand this and then maybe we can all collectively effectuate some change in this messed up world. I will carry that mission with me forever for mom.”
According to Fulton County Sheriff records, Brown is charged with murder, aggravated battery, hijacking a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm or knife during the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies, and abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a disabled or elderly person.
A GoFundMe effort has been launched in Bowles’ honor, with proceeds going to benefit the Atlanta Humane Society.
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