Meriwether County police officials say they have arrested five perpetrators – Justin Pierce Grady, 38; Cortavious Deshun Heard, 18; and three 17-year-olds; Shanquavios Keontrell Cameron, Mina Christine Ellery, and Angel Latrice Harmon – for the brutal beating of an elderly woman, Dorothy Dow, who was also set on fire during a home invasion in the 7700 block of Forrest Road.
According to 11 Alive, on the night of Thursday, August 4, the 83-year-old woman was sound asleep in her home in Grantville, Georgia when she was awakened by the sound of someone kicking in her back door.
Dow said the burglars stormed into her bedroom and demanded money.
When she told them that she didn’t have any, they began to beat her before brutally “pouring a flammable liquid on her and setting her on fire.”
When the burglars fled the scene before ransacking the home, Dow “remembered she had a gallon of water she filled her breathing machine with and took the top off and poured it on her head to put out the flames.”
Afterward, she crawled to “another room to get her cell-phone and called 911.”
Emergency responders rushed the elderly woman to a local hospital, where she remains.
During the home invasion, Dow sustained two broken arms, as well as cuts and bruises on her face, according to AJC.
Police arrested five suspects – Grady, Heard, Cameron, Ellery, and Harmon – who had previously worked on Dow’s property for the home invasion attack on the elderly woman.
The perpetrators are being charged with criminal attempt felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, armed robbery, arson first-degree, burglary first-degree, cruelty to a person who is 65 years or older, and battery.
Beth Dow, who is the victim’s daughter-in-law, stated that she “can’t believe somebody would set a grandmother on fire.”
The community was dumbfounded after learning the elderly woman was brutally beaten before being set on fire during a home invasion, stating: “All this violence going on, it needs to stop. It’s not necessary.”
However, Meriwether County police officials assured the community that the home invasion was not random, and believe that Bow was targeted.
Sheriff Chuck Smith said, “This particular location was a target by those involved. The perpetrators that are involved with the incident know a relative that lived in the home, and we believe that relative was the target. Where we are right now in our investigation, I feel very confident that arrests will be made soon.”
Neighbor Bobbie Terry, who has only lived in the area for a few months, stated that the “brutal attack has made her anxious – but not to the point of wanting to move.”
“Just now being a new resident here, it’s very scary. But no matter where you move, there’s going to be something going on anyway. All you can do is just keep your eyes opened and stay armed, like we do.”
Another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, told reporters that during the night of the home invasion, her dog continued to bark, but she thought nothing of it.
From now on, the neighbor is staying on “high alert.”
“I sleep with a gun right beside me, and my husband sleeps with one right beside him. So we’re both on alert, and we just don’t like take anything lightly.”
The five suspects are being held at the Meriwether County jail without a bond.
Smith stated, “through collaboration with these supporting agencies, such as the GBI Crime Scene Unit, that has made the arrests possible. It is about the communities in which we serve. Those citizens that have provided us with tips and additional leads to work with I am very thankful to them.”
If anyone has information regarding the home invasion, they are urged to contact the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 672-4489 or the GBI at (404) 244-2600, or 1-800-282-8746. Callers can remain anonymous.
The investigation is ongoing.
[Photo by Larry W. Smith/ Getty Images]