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Mom & Child Dead in Grovetown Homicides; Home Set on Fire to Cover Up Deaths


Grovetown police are investigating the homicides of a mother and child on Monday morning who were killed before the suspect set fire to the home on Newmantown Road.

Early Monday morning, at approximately 10:53 a.m., the Grovetown Fire Department received a distress call regarding a blaze at 309 Newmantown Road. Simultaneously, the City of Grovetown’s General Services Director stumbled upon the inferno engulfing a residence. Reacting swiftly, he attempted to intervene, only to be alerted by a neighbor that occupants remained trapped inside.

Firefighters arrived promptly at 10:56 a.m. and initiated efforts to penetrate the burning structure in a bid to rescue any potential occupants. Amidst the chaos, they discovered 32-year-old Donald Beck near a rear window, evidently attempting to flee the blaze. Beck, subsequently rescued and attended to by EMS, revealed information about others trapped inside.

Tragically, amidst the debris, firefighters uncovered the lifeless bodies of an adult female, identified as 47-year-old Karen Denise Boswell and her juvenile son. Both had succumbed to apparent thermal injuries, but further examination revealed they had also sustained knife wounds. The discovery prompted calls to the Coroner and the State Fire Marshal’s Office to the scene.

Grovetown Police Chief Jamey Kitchens announced that the case is now being investigated as a homicide, with the Grovetown Police Department leading the charge alongside state authorities and the District Attorney’s Office. Beck, who shared the residence with Boswell and several juveniles, has emerged as a prime suspect and is currently under guard at a local hospital.

A woman identifying herself as the sister of the woman killed went on Facebook Live to threaten the suspect. Through tears, she used the first name of the alleged killer, telling him, “You better f***ing run, and you better f***ing run, for sure! You killed my sister and my god baby. You better go, because I am coming for you.”

Neighbor J.R. McGee said his daughter ran up to him and told him the neighbor’s house was on fire and he thought she was joking since it was April Fool’s Day. But he soon saw black smoke.

Another witness tried to get someone’s attention and failed, so they called 911. When firefighters arrived, they broke a window to begin fighting the fire, and pulled the suspect out, but he was fighting them. The suspect then started yelling at McGee.

“I could hear the lady screaming in the house,” McGhee said. “I heard her screaming still in my head now. So they kept fighting and and fighting to get him. And they got him out on a stretcher. And he said, ‘Where is my wife and son? Where is my wife and son?’

The suspect continued yelling and screaming before being taken by ambulance in handcuffs to a local hospital.

McGee said the woman in the home had been living there for more than five years while the man had only been staying there for four or five months. The couple fought a lot, the neighbor said.

(Stephanie Hill contributed to this report.)

(Note: If you have a photo of Karen Denise Boswell or the juvenile son who also died to share, please text it to 803-487-3224.)

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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