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Anita Cowen Was Living Alone in Cathedral City After Divorce With Her Husband, Stirt!

Anita was a single mother who raised her son and made a big name in the society, before her tragic slaying!

Scott Pettigrew’s landlord, Anita Cowen, was divorced from her husband, Stirt, and was residing in her California home when she invited him to be her tenant.

Even after her divorce, she chose not to remarry again and spent most of her life alone.


  • Anita Cowen was divorced from her husband and chose not to remarry, spending most of her life alone.
  • After her divorce, Anita’s only close family members were her sons, James and Steven, and Steven’s wife, who lived three hours away from her residence.
  • Despite Steven’s efforts, Anita was tragically found bruised and floating face down in her backyard swimming pool on June 14, 2016.

Anita was a Physician Recruiter at Emergency Medical Service Associates and the National Director at Stat Travelers in Los Angeles.

In 1995, Cowen settled in Southern California and founded American Med Research, Inc., a nursing agency that provided stability in her life.

She raised and supported her sons, Steven and James, and raised them to be a respectable member of society.

In 2016, she also purchased a beautiful three-bedroom house with French doors, elegant furnishings, and a backyard pool—a dream home she cherished.

However, living in a desert city like Cathedral meant high utility costs and frequent maintenance for the house.

Without a steady income, Anita found it hard to manage everything independently. That’s when she decided to rent out her rooms.

Steven’s Desperate Efforts to Save His Mother, Anita Cowen

After Anita divorced, her only close family members were her sons, James and Steven, and Steven’s wife.

The details of her sons and daughter-in-law are not extensively covered online. However, it was mentioned that her son, Steven, and his wife used to live three hours away from her residence.

Anita had discussed renting out her house with her son and daughter-in-law, after which they urged her to check people’s backgrounds before letting them rent.

Even though her son and daughter-in-law repeatedly told her to do that, she didn’t bother. She placed an ad on Craigslist to find roommates.

In the spring of 2016, Anita Cowen offered her younger coworker, Scott, a room in her home.

However, what began as a kind gesture for a friend soon became a dreadful living arrangement for the 66-year-old woman.

One day, while Anita was on the phone with her son, Steven, Anita Cowen and Scott Pettigrew got into an argument.

Steven later recalled hearing “yelling” and “ranting” in the background, along with glass breaking.

Concerned for his mother’s safety, Cowen’s son advised her to activate her audio recorder. He assured her that he and his wife were on their way and would arrive at the house shortly.

During their drive to Cowen’s home, he contacted the police, urgently requesting that they check on his mother.

Unfortunately, it was too late, and Anita was discovered bruised, bloody, and floating face down in her backyard swimming pool in Palm Springs, California, on June 14, 2016.

Additional Information

  • Worst Roommate Ever S2, Episode 2, Housemate From Hell, focuses on landlord Anita Cowen living with her two roommates, Scott Pettigrew and Darrell.
  • Scott Pettigrew is described as a charming and funny lawyer who initially seemed like a good tenant.
  • Darrell, who was going through a divorce then, also rented a room in Anita’s home with Scott. However, the situation turned tragic when Anita was killed.
Deepti Bhatta
Deepti Bhatta
Meet Deepti Bhatta, a passionate writer and content editor who brings a fresh perspective to The Departure Film. With her keen interest in the entertainment industry, Deepti crafts articles that inform, inspire, and entertain readers, keeping them engaged and coming back for more. In her spare time, she enjoys binge-watching movies and series, as well as traveling to new destinations.


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