Police seeking 2nd person in Bouwman murders

9:10 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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  • Javonte Jerome Higgins (2012)
  • Kentwood Police execute a search warrant at 2389 Vicksburg Court SE.
  • Kentwood Police execute a search warrant at 2389 Vicksburg Court SE.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - Detectives are looking for a Kentwood man considered a person of interest in the murders of an elderly couple.

Javonte Higgins, 22, is already wanted for breaking and entering and possession of burglary tools.

"I don't know exactly what his role is, but certainly he is a person of interest [in the double murder]," says Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen.

Thursday night, detectives used a warrant to search a house on Vicksburg Court in Kentwood, where they say Higgins stays at least part time with his mother. It's close to the Bouwman's home on Stowevalley Drive. 

Police believe 81-year-old David and 80-year-old Vivian Bouwman were shot to death during a home invasion early Saturday. Their burning car was found five miles away.

Police want to question Higgins because he has a history of breaking into houses and vehicles.  

"The subject lives in the area, he's wanted for home invasion, all of those factors led us here," says Chief Hillen. "I don't necessarily know if he is the person we are looking for, but right now there is enough evidence to execute a search warrant."

Higgins was not at the home Thursday night and police aren't saying if they found any evidence in the house linking him to the Bouwman murders, but they want to find him.

"I don't know if this person is involved or not but there are a lot of similarities here," says Chief Hillen.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police are releasing the name of a second person of interest in the murder of an elderly Kentwood couple.

Javonte Jerome Higgins, 22, is being sought for home invasion, car theft and additional charges.

Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen says Higgins had recently spent time at a home in the 2300 block of Vicksburg Court SE, but was not one of the homeowners.

The house is in the Princeton Estates subdivision, about half a mile from David and Vivian Bouwman's home on Stowevalley Drive. The couple, in their 80s, was found shot to death Saturday morning following a home invasion.

Because of the close proximity to the homicide scene, investigators are interested in talking to Higgins. Police say his family is cooperating with investigators.

A record search shows Higgins has a lengthy criminal history dating back seven years:

  • Jan. 22, 2006 - Felony assaulting/resisting police
  • Oct. 16, 2006 - Felony home invasion, 1st degree
  • Oct. 4, 2007 - Misdemeanor marijuana possession
  • Sept. 7, 2012 - Felony home invasion, 2nd degree

Higgins is not the same person of interest being sought in connection with the arson of the car belonging to the Bouwmans. Kentwood Police believe other people may have got involved in the crime after the homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call Kentwood Police at (616) 698-6580 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345. 

Silent Observer is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to arrests in this crime. That reward may grow even larger with donations from the public.

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