Suspicious Minds is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to investigate the tragic murder of Heather Maples, who was raped and beaten by Brandon Bowling in an act of senseless violence.
In January 2015, Heather Maples packed up her life and moved from Texas to Murfreesboro, TN, hoping to start a brand new life. She got a job at the front desk of The Cove apartment complex, where she also set up a home.
Tragically, on August 7, the 22-year-old Heather was found dead on her bed in her apartment; she had been brutally beaten, sexually assaulted, and strangled to death. A friend and colleague discovered her after she failed to appear for work one morning.
An autopsy revealed that she had died from a blunt force trauma coupled with asphyxiation. She had serious lacerations and hemorrhaging around her eyes, mouth, and throat. Her hands had also been badly damaged, including a fingernail being torn off, and semen was found on her body.
Heather was known to have spent the following evening at a bar called Gentleman Jims, and so had the man who would eventually be charged with her murder.
Brandon Bowling was a senior student at the nearby Middle State Tennessee University, and the evidence pointing towards him as Heather’s killer was overwhelming.
Mounting evidence against Brandon Bowling
Bowling’s bloody fingerprints were left on the victim’s shoulder and a bedsheet. DNA swabs taken from Heather were also found to be a match to the MSTU student.
Finally, and most chillingly, the murderer had videotaped his horrific crime on his cellphone. At his trial, the jury was spared the horror of viewing the tape due to the other overwhelming evidence.
The police stated in 2015 that Heather had known her killer, but it was never publicly revealed how the pair knew each other.
In February 2018, Bowling pleaded guilty to aggravated rape and second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder and was given 15 years for the rape; however, the sentences will run concurrently.
More from Suspicious Minds
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Suspicious Minds.
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Gene Coombs and Henry Williams set out to kill their drug dealer after he ripped them off. Tragically for councilor Matt Garcia of Fairfield, CA, they accidentally shot him dead instead, in a case of mistaken identity.
Suspicious Minds airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.