Her father, Kenneth Steward, who could hardly string a sentence together when he spoke to the Pretoria News on Tuesday, said his daughter was thoughtful and kind-hearted.
What made her death even more painful, he said, was that on May 6, her birthday, she was baptised at her church and even gave up smoking and drinking.
She had called off the relationship after many years and wanted a new life, he said. She and the accused had been separated for two months.
The boyfriend was on parole after serving time for shooting someone in Eersterust, he said.
He should have seen the signs when his daughter told him that her ex-boyfriend had said “This is your last birthday", the distraught dad said.
“She told me that she had received the word of God and wanted to leave all her bad habits behind like excessive partying. It made me the proudest father on Earth.”
Although they often had father-and-daughter misunderstandings, Bowman was never one to sulk for too long, and always had a beaming “forgiving smile”, he said.
Steward, a firm believer and avid churchgoer, said he had big plans for the girl within the church.
“On the day she died I was bragging to people at work about my daughter’s transformation and how proud it made me. Little did I know that my little girl was no more.”
He said that when he returned from work on Monday afternoon, at around 4.30pm, he was shocked by the number of cars, including police and pathology vehicles, outside his house.
He hastily walked inside to find out what was going on. “The last thing I thought of was death. I felt my heart in my throat when I was told that my little angel was no more,” he said.
One of the neighbours, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she saw Bowman’s former boyfriend at one of the nearby shops wearing a hoodie and standing as if he was waiting for something at around 7am.
“I didn’t make anything of it. He walked by and greeted me, and then walked towards the girlfriend’s house, with the hoodie over his head.”
It is believed that the boyfriend waited for everyone to leave the house. “He knew what time the father, mother and her two sisters left for work, and immediately pounced on her,” she said.
The boyfriend of Bowman’s sister, Mowlene Dreyer, 27, said he received a call from his girlfriend at around 3pm saying he must rush to the house as something was wrong.
“She said her other sister came back from work and saw blood spatters on the floor in one of the back rooms.” She then called her sister and drove to Dreyer’s house.
“She looked extremely distraught when she picked me up.”
When they got to the the house he tried opening the door but couldn’t gain entry because one of the bodies was right up against the door. “I could only open it a little bit. Then I saw Schane in a pool of blood and bullet shells on the floor. I knew something terrible had happened.”
He eventually pushed against the door until he gained entry but it was too late. “There was a bullet on the side of her head and he had shot himself in the mouth.”
Bowman's father said police results determined that the boyfriend strangled his daughter first before shooting her in the head and turning the gun on himself. “It scares me because women will remain scared to leave abusive relationships, for fear of being killed,” said Steward.
Meanwhile, a prominent funeral parlour owner was denied bail in the Mamelodi West Magistrate's Court for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl who lives in the same street as him.
He is back in court on July 30.