What happened to Heather Maples? Oxygen's Final Moments Episode 3 explores leasing agent's brutal murder

Heather Maples case on Final Moments (Image via TV Insider)
Heather Maples case on Final Moments (Image via TV Insider)

True-crime series Final Moments on Oxygen, which premiered on April 3, 2022, has been giving a detailed insight into some sensational crimes. The series focuses on victims right before their murders, "through the lens of real footage, pictures, and social media” accounts of the victims.

In Episode 3 of Final Moments, police will solve the case of leasing agent Heather Maples, who was found dead on her bed by her co-worker, who went to her apartment to pick her up after she didn't show up for her shift in the morning.

All about Final Moments of Heather Maples

Episode 3 of Final Moments will revolve around 22-year-old Heather Maples, who was brutally murdered.

Maples, a Mesquite, Texas native, moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in January 2015 to start a new phase of her life. She was even accepted to Middle Tennessee State University to pursue psychology. But tragedy struck when she was found murdered in her apartment just months later, on August 7, 2015.

Maples was working as a leasing agent at a local apartment complex. When she didn’t show up to work in the morning, her friend went to check on her. Heather’s apartment door was unlocked, and she was found dead on a mattress in the apartment, lying facedown.

Authorities reached the scene at around 9.30 am and reportedly found two lacerations to her head and marks on her throat, indicating strangulation and signs of other trauma, as well as one of her fingernails being torn off. Heather was also s*xually assaulted. The cause of her death was asphyxiation and blunt force trauma.

And then began the search for the murderer who brutally killed Maples. Authorities started looking into her activities the night before as they believed that she had died just hours before she was found.

Upon investigation, it was revealed that Maples had gone bar hopping with a few friends and was dropped off at her apartment at around 2.15 am on August 7. After questioning a few people of interest, the investigation came to a dead end. But surveillance footage from the bar pointed toward a potential suspect, Brandon Bowling.

The 22-year-old senior at Middle Tennessee State University was at the same bar Maple visited but at different times. Further investigation revealed that Maple and Bowling had been friends, but there was no concrete evidence that they had been in contact days prior to her death.

When Bowling was questioned, he denied any claims, but physical evidence told a different story. A bloody fingerprint on Maples’s bedsheet matched his right thumb. Reportedly, his DNA too matched the biological evidence (dried semen) collected at the scene.

More sensational evidence was recovered from his phone, including a video recording that showed him s*xually assaulting Maples, who was not entirely conscious. He had assaulted the victim on at least two other prior occasions as well.

Bowling was scheduled to go on trial in June 2018, but he reportedly pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated rape in February of the same year, after which he was reportedly sentenced to 40 years in jail without the possibility of parole for murder.

He was also sentenced to an additional 15 years for rape, which runs concurrently. As per state records, Bowling is currently incarcerated at the Hardeman County Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in Whiteville, Tennessee, where he will remain until his release date, which is reportedly set for October 27, 2053.

Final Moments is a collaboration between Oxygen and Dick Wolf. Wolf Entertainment has also produced Criminal Confessions, Cold Justice, and Murder for Hire for Oxygen.

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Edited by R. Elahi
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