Police investigating the death of an Arlington woman whose body was found early Tuesday lying on Rte. 66 beneath an overpass found a bloody mattress and sheets in the woman's apartment and were told by her 5-year-old daughter that she was screaming early in the morning before her death, according to court papers filed yesterday.
The partially clothed body of Pearlene E. Bowles, a 28-year-old Army secretary, was found at around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday by police responding to an anonymous call that a woman had been struck by a car on I-66 near the North 21st Street overpass.
Later that day Vernon A. Clarke, 34, an unemployed laborer who shared Bowles' apartment in the 1700 block of North Veitch Street and is the 5-year-old's father, was charged with first degree murder in Bowles' death.
In a search warrant filed yesterday in Arlington Circuit Court, police said that Bowles appeared go have been stabbed, shot or beaten around the face. Police declined to disclose results of an autopsy.
According to the court papers, filed by Det. Joseph Horgas, Clarke denied any knowledge of Bowles' death when interviewed by police Tuesday.
Police interviewed the couple's daughter who told them she heard her mother screaming that morning, according to the papers. The child said Clarke had told her that her mother was "having bad dreams" and that a loud noise was the result of Bowles' falling out of bed, according to the court papers. The child said Clarke later told her that her mother had been taken to the hospital because of the dreams, according to the papers.
When police entered the apartment to interview the child they found a bloodstained sheet, pillowcases and mattress, and cleaning materials, including a mop and bucket containing water that was stained red, according to the court papers.
The papers said that Clarke denied knowledge of stains on his elbow, which police who interviewed him said had appeared to be blood.
Leon Demsky, Clarke's attorney, said yesterday that his client maintains that he does not know how Bowles died.
"As far as he's concerned, he's innocent," Demsky said.
The couple's daughter and Bowles' 10-year-old son were in the custody of relatives yesterday, police said.