Edgewater teen's cause of death undetermined

Ashlyn Bowman reported missing in June, remains found in August

EDGEWATER, Fla. – The cause of death of a 17-year-old Edgewater girl, whose remains were found in August, is “undetermined,” and the 10-month investigation has been suspended, police said Wednesday.

Ashlyn Bowman was reported missing on June 22 and her remains were found on Aug. 9 by workers clearing land south of Pullman Road, Edgewater police said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted a lab analysis that identified the DNA matched Bowman.

The Daytona Beach Medical Examiner’s Office said in November that Bowman’s cause of death was undetermined.

Examination of her remains by the Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida and the Volusia County Medical Examiner said they did not identify any trauma to Bowman before she died, Edgewater police said Wednesday in a news release.

Due to the condition of the body, a toxicology report was also inconclusive. In November, authorities said no drugs were found in her system.

Police said that although they are unable to say what Bowman’s cause of death was, their investigation was able to dispute social media rumors.

“The allegations posted ranged from Ms. Bowman being dismembered to being cremated in a bon fire post mortem,” the Edgewater police news release read. “The investigation and the discovery of Ms. Bowman’s remains were able to refute these claims.”

Newly released documents from the police investigation into Bowman’s disappearance and death show authorities followed many leads to try and find the teen.

Bowman’s grandmother, Pauline Chaffee told police that her granddaughter left their Edgewater home on June 19 when she was picked up by someone at 6 p.m. Chaffee said she spoke to Bowman on June 22, but didn’t hear from her again.

Police said Bowman’s backpack, containing clothing, was found during a suspicious person call to Rotary Park on June 21.

A homeowner called police on June 22 after she said a teen girl walked from Rotary Park on to her property. The woman told police she informed the girl she was trespassing, but the girl did not respond, according to police reports. The same woman called police on July 3 and said she believed that Bowman was the girl she saw in her yard.

People who last saw Bowman on June 22 at a New Smyrna Beach house told police that she left the house on foot in the morning.

The last cellphone activity on Bowman’s phone was on June 22 at 1:36 p.m., Verizon Wireless told police.

Police also spoke with people who said they were with Bowman in two days leading up to her disappearance, but many of their accounts were inconsistent.

“It was determined throughout the investigation that numerous providers of information were inaccurate in their recollection of dates and times and much of the information provided was hearsay or third-hand rumors gathered from social media sources and street talk,” according to the final police report.

Police suspended the investigation Wednesday into Bowman’s death until they receive new information.

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