Three people have been charged in connection with Owen's death. His mother, Breanna Arnold, 21, of Bluffton, and her boyfriend, Zachary Barnes, 30, also of Bluffton, face felony charges including neglect of a dependent resulting in death and two counts of neglect of a dependent. They also are charged with abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice and altering the scene of death. A 16-year-old boy also faces felony charges for his alleged role in Owen's death.
Court documents say Arnold, Barnes and the 16-year-old were using methamphetamine the night of Jan. 16. Barnes told investigators they would put "dope" in Arnold's children's drinks to "watch them have fun." He said Owen was found dead sometime the morning of Jan. 17 as he, Arnold and the 16-year-old were "shooting dope" and that nobody in the home called police because they were scared.
According to court documents after Owen's body was discovered he was encased in plastic wrap and placed in a bedroom dresser drawer while the three decided what to do. At one point, the idea of "chopping him up and throwing him into the river" was discussed, the documents say, but they decided instead to put him in a cardboard box and take him to the woods.
Another woman who was unaware of the death drove Barnes and the youth to the wooded area, where Barnes doused the box with nail polish remover and set it on fire, according to court documents.
The body was discovered Jan. 18 after the female driver, who didn't know what was in the box and wasn't charged with a crime, led investigators to the wooded area where the burned box with Owen's body was discovered.