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16-Year-Old Found Dead In Fire Was 'Sexually Assaulted, Strangled'

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – A promising high school student's life cut short—killed in a crime that's horrified the city. Now police say they've tracked down the two men who sexually assaulted and strangled 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers and then lit her home on fire.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how police tracked down the killers.

Investigators say 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers knew her attackers and they used her cell phone records to track them down.

Inside a burning home, investigators found the body of 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers — bound, sexually assaulted and strangled.

"I can only imagine what the last moments of Arnesha's life were like. It had to have been pure hell," said Major Stanley Brandford, Baltimore Police Department.

Now police say these are the two men who killed the teen — 23-year-old Adonay Dixon and 20-year-old John Childs.

Adonay Dixon and John Childs
Adonay Dixon and John Childs. Photo/ Baltimore Police

"Nothing is more important than tracking down and jailing cowards who take the life of an innocent child. Nothing," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

According to court documents, Childs and Dixon were hanging out with the teen at a party when they followed her home and plotted a burglary.

Investigators say Childs and Dixon broke into the home through a basement window, but were soon discovered by Bowers.

Childs told police while he ransacked the house for money, Dixon dragged the teen into the basement. Detectives say she was strangled with an electrical cord before the house went up in flames.

"They sexually assaulted, strangled and set fire to Arnesha," said Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis, Baltimore Police Department.

Bowers' grandmother tells WJZ she is devastated by the loss.

"Arnesha had a beautiful smile and everyone would comment when they met her, 'You have a lovely smile.' She had a beautiful heart to match," her grandmother, Sandra Bowers, said.

Neighbors are relieved the two suspects are now behind bars.

"It definitely eases my mind because we were kind of worried like what was going on and we didn't know," said Charles Bronson, neighbor.

Childs and Dixon face multiple charges, including first-degree murder.

John Childs was released on bond from the Baltimore County jail on a burglary charge just five days before the murder.

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