Local News

Slain Woman's Husband Hired Strippers, Escort Service Says

Posted May 9, 2007 6:34 p.m. EDT
Updated May 9, 2007 11:00 p.m. EDT

— New information could call into question the character of a prominent Rocky Mount funeral home owner accused of plotting with his girlfriend to kill his wife.

Jackie Graves, the owner of Diamond Escorts in Rocky Mount, told WRAL Wednesday that Mark Bowling hired five strippers to perform at a friend's bachelor party at an apartment above Bowling's Funeral Home six to eight months before his wife's death.

Investigators would not comment about how that might affect the case, which has captured the attention of the Rocky Mount community. Bowling and his wife, Julie, were well-known for having built a successful chain of mortuaries, and their faces were featured on billboards advertising the businesses.

Julie Bowling was found dead inside the couple's garage in December after she failed to show up to work at Nash General Hospital, where she worked as an oncology therapist.

Authorities later arrested Mark Bowling and Rose Vincent, who police said drove to the Bowlings' home and shot Julie Bowling multiple times. Mark Bowling was out of town at the time.

Authorities have not offered any motive for why Julie Bowling might have been killed when she was, but search warrants revealed that Mark Bowling and Vincent had been involved in a romantic relationship for about a year and had planned the crime.

People who know Bowling were shocked and said the allegations are completely out of character for him.