Great-grandmother beaten, burned in her home dies weeks after attack

MERIWETHER COUNTY, Ga. — An elderly woman who was beaten and burned inside her Meriwether County home has died weeks after the attack, the county's coroner confirmed to Channel 2 Action News.

Dorothy Dow, 83, was lying in her bed when three men and a woman kicked in her back door and attacked her in early August, according to police.

"These suspects began to demand money from Miss Dow. She pleaded with them that she didn't have any money. They began to brutally beat her,” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.

The family said Dow’s right and left arms were broken, and she had cuts and bruises all over her face.

The sheriff said the robbers then poured a flammable liquid on the victim and lit it.


Dow did everything she could to survive and call for help.

"She remembered she had a gallon of water she filled her breathing machine with. With those broken hands, she took that top off the gallon of water and poured it on her head to put out the flames,” said her daughter-in-law, Beth Dow.

Dorothy Dow then managed to crawl to another room to get her cellphone and call 911.

She was in the hospital in critical condition for weeks and died Saturday afternoon.

"That part's not real. We still can't put our hands around...that she was murdered," Dow said.

Justin Pierce Grady, 38, Cortavious Deshun Heard, 18, Shanquavious Keontrell Cameron, 17, Mina Christine Ellery, 17, and Angel Latrice Harmon, 17, are all facing multiple charges in connection to the attack.

"I can't imagine being one of their mamas, and know that your child has done this," Dow said.

Police believe the motive was robbery. They say Dorothy Dow owned a blueberry farm and would pay locals cash to pick the berries. Some of the attackers were former employees.

"I would love to talk to them and ask 'Why? Why did you do this?' I do want them to be punished," Dow said.

Dow said police assured the family charges against the suspects will be upgraded if her mother-in-law died.