COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - When Coweta County authorities were called to 180 Brandy Lane in May last year, they found 76-year-old Rollis Bowman dead, emaciated and laying in filth.
The state medical examiner’s office this week determined neglect led to Bowman’s death and ruled it a homicide.
This week, authorities have arrested the Coweta County couple who had moved in with Bowman in 2016 and had agreed to live rent free if they cared for him. Jonathan Barber and Tiffany Fountain are charged with murder and two counts of elder abuse.
“It’s very surprising especially so close to my home. I had no idea that it was going on. Finding out about it pretty wild,” neighbor Mike Farbo said.
Authorities said Rollis Bowman had contracted pneumonia in March of 2017 and the couple neglected to keep up with his medical needs. At the time of his death, he had lost 55 pounds from the weight listed on his driver’s license.
“They never took him back to the doctor. They never got his prescriptions refilled. So, he continued to get worse and worse until he was finally deceased in the first of May,” said Col. James Yarbrough of Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
Neighbors said Barber and Fountain kept a number of dogs on the property they shared with Bowman.
“It seemed like he may have been breeding dogs over there,” neighbor Farbo said. “There were a lot of small Pit Bull puppies that would run into the yard all the time. Some of the other dogs would come over very emaciated, very thin. He would say, ‘oh, we are taking care of them’ because we would always ask them.”
Authorities said the couples living arrangements included Bowman paying for their groceries. They had access to his debit card. Thousands of dollars are also allegedly missing.
Over a short period of time over $7,000 was taken from his account by them,” Col. Yarbrough said.