Prosecutor to seek life without parole for suspect in woman's torture, death

Nicole Bowen (Photo provided by family)

NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - A mother from West Lafayette was tortured and murdered and now police say her alleged killer is behind bars.

Nicole Bowen's mother had just laid her youngest daughter to rest Friday, when she got the call from investigators she'd been waiting for all week.

"He told me the news and my sadness turned to joy," said Cheryl Samuels.

Investigators in Newton County told Samuels they believed they had her daughter's killer behind bars. The county prosecutor told Eyewitness News he wants life without parole for Garret Kirts, 21, for allegedly torturing Nicole before she died.

Investigators are still looking for another man who they believe is tied to the case.

The 30-year-old woman's body was found last Saturday in a Newton County field.

"I'm going to miss her tremendously," Samuels said. "She didn't deserve what she got, she didn't."

"It's a shock to find out that your child has died, but it's even more of a shock and heartbreak that she died at the hands of somebody else," said Samuels.

Investigators also arrested Jasmine Parker, 34, and 26-year-old Ashley Garth in connection with the case.

They're looking for Christopher Mathis, 27, and say they plan to charge him with assisting a criminal.

The prosecutor released a Facebook entry he believed was posted recently, showing Mathis and a woman he says could be helping Mathis elude police.

Samuels said she hopes it's only a matter of time before everyone connected to her child's murder is behind bars.

"Please do the right thing. Let the Newtown County Sheriffs Department know her sons deserve justice. They're young and they will never be able to talk to their mom again and hear her voice. and if for no other reason, do it for her boys," said Samuels.

Bowen leaves behind two boys Riley, age 2 and Korbin, age 8.

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