Chilling details released in murder of Wichita woman

Dane Owens (Courtesy: Sedgwick County Jail)
Dane Owens (Courtesy: Sedgwick County Jail)

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -A court document released Friday outlines chilling events leading up to the murder of Wichita woman earlier this month.

Rowena Irani, 22, was found shot in the head on October 3 in a home in the 2600 block of North Meadow Oak. She died the following day, and her ex-boyfriend, Dane Owens, 27, is charged with intentional first-degree murder in her death.

An arrest affidavit states that in the days before she was killed, she confided to her brother details of her relationship with Owens. Rowena told her brother that she broke up with Owens on September 23rd.

“Rowena said (to her brother) that after breaking up with Dane he started telling her about his time in the military and about having killed people in the past including women and children,” the affidavit states. “Dane also told Rowena about a previous girlfriend who broke lip with him that he had plans to kill. Dane told Rowena that he had dug the hole and was on his way to kill the previous girlfriend when he changed his mind.”

With this information in hand, officers went to Owens’ last known residence in Andover. He told one of the officers that his ex-girlfriend had been injured in an accident.

“Later while in the presence of Officer Henry and while talking about something happening to Rowena Mr. Owens said ‘I was involved in the accident’ and also stated “some stuff happened.'”

Courtesy: Wichita State University Involvement
Courtesy: Wichita State University Involvement

Owens was then arrested and then told detectives that he was angry at Rowena for breaking up with him and that he took a number of hydrocodone pills early on the morning of October 3 and went driving around with his Smith & Wesson .45 handgun in the center console.

Security video from Rowena’s neighborhood shows a truck, like the one Owens was driving, drive into the neighborhood at 11:38 a.m. and leaving at 1:05 p.m.

The affidavit states Owens drove to the area of Rowena’s house, parking away from the home so she would not see him and call police. He walked in the unlocked front door, the handgun in a sling he wore on his right arm.

“As he walked…toward the living room he saw Rowena come around the comer from the kitchen. He said he was ‘spooked’ when she came around the corner and he fired the gun and she fell to the ground.”

Owens said he saw the gunshot wound to Rowena’s head, left through the back door of the house and drove away. He stopped on the way back to his mother’s house and put the gun in one pond and the magazine with the ammunition in another pond. He also had Rowena’s phone and threw it in one of the ponds.

A detective also interviewed one of Owens’ friends, who stated that Owens angry and said he needed the “stress relief” of “shooting someone.”

On October 4th at 2:48 p.m., Rowena was pronounced dead at Wesley Medical Center. The affidavit says she was shot about 1 p.m. on the 3rd and left without care for at least three hours before her mother found her.

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