Family of Becky Stowe reacts to her murderer's release
NILES, Mich. -- Becky Stowe was a Brandywine High School student murdered by Robert Leamon at only 15-years-old after he found out she was pregnant with his child.
Leamon was released on parole after over 20 years in prison Thursday. He appealed his sentence on the basis of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that life sentences for minors, without the possibility of parole, are unconstitutional.
In early 2020, a Cass County judge ultimately decided Leamon could be free, but it put Becky’s family through the trauma of her murder all over again.
“Becky was very fond of him, I remember she had told me she’s got a new boyfriend, ‘His name’s Rob, he’s really nice,’” said Cindy Slates, Becky’s sister.
No matter how many years go by, the memory of Becky has not been lost in the Niles community.
A 15-year-old girl – full of life – who had no idea that July night in 1993 she would be killed by her own boyfriend.
“She had left a note stating ‘Went to go talk with Rob’ and we never saw her again,” said Slates. “He covered his alibi very well, he had someone clock him in and out at work the day he killed my sister, he even had the hole dug the day before.”
It took two years for police to discover Becky’s body – which then-16-year-old Leamon buried at his family’s Cass County farm – and for charges to be filed against him.
In 1997, Leamon was finally sentenced to life in prison without parole.
“We went to the cemetery and all of us had a gathering there and told Becky that she could rest now in peace, he will never get out,” said Slates.
But that closure has been taken away by knowing Leamon is walking free, while Becky can never be brought back.
“The judge gave him 25 years, the minimum, and he already served at that point 24 years so here we are, today, and he’s out of prison,” said Slates.
Her family hoping, though, the name Becky Stowe is on people's’ minds, not the man who stole her from them two decades ago.
“Her dream was to drive a green Jeep on the beaches of California, she just wanted to do that, and unfortunately she never even got her driver’s license, her life ended at 15,” said Slates.
Cindy said she was informed of where Leamon will be living – in Granger with his family.
She also invites anyone who would like to share in remembering Becky to be part of her memorial Facebook page.