Residents of Germantown, Maryland, were shocked beyond belief when 21-year-old university student Asia Adams was brutally murdered in her home in November 2004. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide City: Germantown Tragedy’ gives an in-depth look into the painful details of her death. Let’s find out more about the renowned case and how justice was served to her murderers, shall we?
How Did Asia Adams Die?
Asia Adams was a 21-year-old psychology major at West Chester University, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She was a scholarship student who planned to study nursing in the future. Asia was described as a warm, kind, and outgoing person by everyone, and she was exceptionally close to her mother Shelah Harper. The weekend of the incident, the young student had come home from college to visit her mother in Germantown.
During that visit in November 2004, Shelah went on a business trip while Asia stayed back at the house. However, things took an ugly turn when on the morning of November 8, 2004, their neighbors heard a sound and noticed smoke coming out of the second floor of the house. When the firefighters and police arrived at the scene, a gruesome sight awaited them.
A woman’s body was discovered in one of the bedrooms on the second floor. Not only was it badly burnt, but it was also naked from the waist down. Upon further examination, they realized that the person had actually died from multiple stab wounds and a throat laceration and that there were wounds on the neck and head. Thus, the fire was deliberately started to cover up the killer’s tracks. After Shelah returned, the victim was identified as Asia, who was murdered on the night of November 7, 2004.
Who Killed Asia Adams?
As the police began their investigation, they found Asia’s purse on the ground floor, from which cash and credit cards were missing. Moreover, Shelah noticed that there had been several cash withdrawals from different ATMs with the cards. The police were unable to find any surveillance, as the cameras were not functioning. In addition, Shelah’s involvement was ruled out completely.
However, the police found a crucial lead when Asia’s friend, Alexis Bethea Lopes, came forward and informed them about a man named Napoleon, whom the slain student was dating at the time of her death. She had met him on the street and the couple had been together for a few months since August 2004. As the police began looking for Napoleon, Alexis further pointed them towards Simeon Bozic, a close acquaintance of the suspect.
After running a background check, the police discovered that Simeon had a criminal record including a suspended driver’s license and charges of theft. When Simeon wasn’t found at his mother’s residence, the police went to question April Strode, who was allegedly Napoleon’s former wife. She then divulged that his real name was Thomas Strode and that their marriage lasted less than a year. Further investigation revealed that Thomas too had been previously charged with burglary and possession of drugs.
A few days later, the police received a call from Simeon himself who admitted that he and Thomas had murdered Asia. According to the former, they had been at Asia’s house on the night of the murder, when she suddenly told them to leave post an argument. While she tried to lock the house and put on the alarm, Thomas hit her on the head with a vase. He then started stabbing her in the chest and when she fell unconscious, he and Simeon dragged her into the basement. During this, Asia’s pants were ripped off, and they placed her on a chair in the basement.
When the girl gained consciousness, Simeon alleged that Thomas hit her face with a shovel and forced him to do so too. Afterward, Thomas “threatened” him to slit Asia’s throat and they wounded her several times. When she died, the duo stole $500, credit cards, and keys from her purse and left the house. They returned the next morning, wrapped her in a comforter, and carried her to the second floor’s front bedroom. After laying her on the bed, they set the house ablaze to remove their traces.
On November 15, 2004, Thomas and Simeon were arrested and questioned through the night. Eventually, both of them confessed to being involved in Asia’s death and were charged the next day with first-degree murder, robbery, arson, weapons offenses, and related offenses. Thomas further stated in his confession that they killed Asia because of an argument with her about him and Simeon.
Where are Thomas Strode and Simeon Bozic Today?
In November 2007, Simeon Bozic was convicted on all the above-mentioned charges but was given a plea bargain to testify against Thomas Strode in return for avoiding the death penalty. Thomas was convicted as well and agreed to give up his appellate rights in exchange for not getting the death penalty. He did not show any emotion or testify at his trial, but upon being asked if he had any remorse, he stated that he had “shown his remorse to God in his cell block three years ago.”
However, in October 2017, Simeon tried to challenge the legitimacy of his prison sentence in a petition to the court. But this was shot down. Presently, both Thomas and Simeon are serving life sentences without parole — the former at SCI Dallas and the latter at SCI Greene in Pennsylvania.