Martha Bowden (left) is urging the person who hit and killed her son, 31-year-old Robert Bowden, outside a Buckhead club May 13 to come forward. "I haven't slept in a month," she said. "I'm thinking maybe perhaps you haven't either." Atlanta police Sgt. John Chafee displays family photos at right.

‘Mother’s worst nightmare’: Video released in deadly hit-and-run near Buckhead club

Martha Bowden got a knock on her door the morning of May 13 and opened it to find two police officers. They asked her if 31-year-old Robert Bowden, a New Jersey native and recent Atlanta transplant, was her son.

The day before, Robert Bowden called his mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. Now, the officers told the woman that she needed to identify him as the victim in a deadly collision outside a Buckhead dance club.

Robert Bowden, 31, was an Atlanta transplant from New Jersey who was considering a career in acting.

Bowden’s body was found lying in the intersection of Roswell Road and Ivy Chase Way outside Johnny’s Hideaway just after midnight May 13. Atlanta police Investigator James White said witnesses saw the man walk into the middle of the road and narrowly avoid a passing motorist. He fell in the northbound lanes of Roswell Road. 

“A few moments after falling, he was struck by a red SUV which caused fatal injuries,” White said during a news conference Wednesday. “The driver of this vehicle did not stay on scene to report this incident nor identify themselves.”

Police on Wednesday released surveillance video from a nearby business that appears to show the SUV, which White believes to be a Jeep Wrangler. Bowden’s mother is now urging the driver to come forward.

“I haven’t slept in a month,” she said. “I’m thinking maybe perhaps you haven’t either.”


Martha Bowden said her son had recently left his commercial real estate business and was taking acting classes in Atlanta. “He wanted to be the next Tom Cruise from Glen Ridge, New Jersey.”

Bowden also had ties to South Carolina, but his mother said he chose Atlanta as his home and volunteered with a homelessness organization on weekends. She enjoyed their daily phone calls.

“I just, I miss him, and I will forever,” she said. “This is every mother's worst nightmare.”

Investigators are asking anyone who recognizes the red vehicle to contact police. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

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