Bouwman neighbors react to murder suspect arrest

12:57 AM, Jan 19, 2013   |    comments
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Kentwood neighbors react to Javonte Higgins' arrest.
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  • FBI arrests Javonte Higgins near Chicago
  • KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - The home where David and Vivian Bouwman were murdered turned from a crime scene to a place where people sought tranquility Friday night, as news spread of Javonte Higgins' arrest.

    WZZM 13 arrived in the Princeton Estates neighborhood just as people were getting home from work, and those we spoke with say there's a lot of joy. At one house, neighbors had already gathered to celebrate, and in front of the Bouwman's home, a group of friends stopped to praise God for Higgins' capture.

    "Hearing that brought tears to my eyes as it does now," said Tara Gray of Wyoming.

    "One of the neighbors told us he was caught today at 3 p.m. which is when we started our prayer walk, so it's really cool to hear that God's working," said Gray.

    Gray and her friends did not know David and Vivian Bouwman, but they feel their prayers were answered.

    "I prayed for conviction," said Michelle Eddy, who lives near the couple's house.

    Gray, Eddy, and two other friends spent Friday going to different neighborhoods affected by the recent violence around Grand Rapids.

    "I'm so thankful people can sleep at night and just have that protection and not be fearful anymore," said Gray.

    "We're so excited," said Soni Konyndyk.

    Konyndyk lives just down the street from the Bouwmans' house, and was one of many we found smiling Friday evening. She gives many thanks to Kentwood Police.

    "I think the community will just feel a little safer now," said Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen at a press conference Friday evening.

    "I can't say enough about everything they've done, and how quickly they worked, and how hard they worked, and how much they've protected our streets," said Konyndyk.

    Michelle Eddy hopes her next prayer will be answered, this one for Higgins.

    "To hear this is so good but my prayer is that he would come to know the Lord through this, that this wouldn't just end with a sentencing," said Eddy.

    No matter what everyone in this community is feeling, they say they are sharing a sense of relief.

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