Here’s a timeline of events that have happened in the moments after David and Vivian Bouwman were killed.
This story has 9 updates
The suspect in the double murder Kentwood murder has been arrested on outstanding warrants.
CHICAGO – It has been confirmed to FOX 17 News that Javonte Higgins is in custody on outstanding warrants.
An informant from Grand Rapids told Kentwoood police that he drove Higgins to Chicago, where he was later detained by police in the Blue Island, Chicago area.
A source also tells FOX 17 News that Higgins had a gun on him at the time of the arrest, however, the chief of police would not confirm that.
Police want people to know that Higgins has been arrested on outstanding warrants and merely remains a suspect in the Kentwood murders.
It is unknown if the gun was used in the murder of Dave and Vivian Bouwman.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Police are holding a news conference at 5 p.m. in regards to the Kentwood case.
Find out what’s happening in the case by watching live HERE.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– It’s a place where regular bowlers spend afternoons and nights throwing strikes and catching up with friends.
Paragon Bowling Center, located off Division Avenue in Grand Rapids, has been around for decades and was a pastime for Vivian Bouwman. She was a regular for years and bowled in a league on Tuesdays, according to previous owner Gregg Larabel.
Her condolence page even included a message from the owners’ family:
“My deepest condolence to your family. Vivian was one of my bowlers at Paragon Bowling Center and always enjoyed her friendly smile and pleasant being. The Larabel family grieves with you.”
Vivian and her husband, David Bouwman, both in their 80s, were murdered in their home during a break-in. Police found them shot to death.
Their Cadillac was found torched and dumped off at a Wyoming apartment complex.
The only suspect that has been named in the double murder is Javonte Higgins, 22, from Kentwood. He is considered a fugitive and has been on the run since December.
He also bowled at the same small bowling alley in Grand Rapids, according to previous owners and bowlers.
Sources tell Fox 17 News that Javonte Higgins’ family bowled in a league at the alley for years, usually on Fridays.
“I remember he would come in as a kid and play the pinball machine, and his mom bowled in a league,” remembers Larabel, who owned the bowling alley from 1990 to 2006.
He said the family was very friendly and was sad to learn about the developments.
All the while, people are left wondering whether bowling alley is a connection to the murder, or a coincidence.
Larabel said the families bowled at different times on different leagues. He believes it is only a coincidence, but a bizarre one.
Kentwood police have not confirmed whether or not the suspect targeted the couple or if they knew each other.
There are now at least 84 tips in the case.
Silent Observer is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
KENTWOOD, Mich. — More than 100 homeowners from the Princeton Estates neighborhood in Kentwood gathered at the Kentwood Branch Library on Monday evening to talk security and safety.
Kentwood police also attended the community meeting.
“I wanted to find out more about the current crime going in our neighborhood,” said homeowner Doug DeBruin, “and I was a little disappointed no information was available other than what’s on the news so far.”
“So I came away with just more crime prevention tips.”
Homeowners have been concerned about safety after a break-in turned double murder involving their neighbors. David Bouwman, 81, and his wife Vivian Bouwman, 80, were found shot to death in their Princeton Estates home on Jan. 5 after a break-in. The handgun was never recovered.
Their Cadillac was stolen, dumped off, and torched at a Wyoming Apartment Complex several miles away.
“I considered our neighborhood safe and I still do, but we are taking more precautions now,” said DeBruin.
After receiving more than 75 tips in the case and working long hours, Kentwood police have named a suspect in the case: Javonte Higgins, 22.
“We believe at this time that Javonte Higgins should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen.
Police and swat teams searched the home Higgin’s parents on Vicksburg Court for evidence last week, but it is unclear what they found. The suspect is wanted on two felony warrants for prior crimes and is a fugitive.
Higgins also has a criminal past that dates back to his teenage years that includes marijuana possession, lying to police, assault, and a string of break-ins.
He also currently has a hip injury. ”Several weeks ago Javonte Higgins suffered severe injuries to his hips, and he now walks with a severe limp, ” said Chief Hillen.
The injuries stem from a crash in December in Kentwood. Higgins was driving a vehicle he stole after a break-in in Wyoming.
Police said the warrant wasn’t issued at that time because he was still in the hospital with critical injuries. Investigators tell FOX 17 News that’s typical procedure. They said a guard doesn’t have to be provided at the hospital. However, Higgins left, and now he’s on the run.
“People know where he’s at, and with the added information he’s limping, it will help us even more,” said Chief Tom Hillen. ”It is just a matter of time before we pick him up.”
Kentwood detectives believe Javonte Higgins may have had help. They have released a sketch of a person of interest in the case who may be connected to the vehicle arson.
With the open investigation, neighbors close to the crimes are making their own adjustments.
“We’ve installed a security system and are trying to be more aware of what was going on,” said homeowner DeBruin.
Silent Observer is offering a $9,500 reward to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest.
Please call 616-774-2345 with tips and information.
KENTWOOD, Mich. – The man police have been looking for in the double Kentwood murder is now considered a suspect. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.
Police have been searching for Javonte Higgins, 22, since January 10.
On Thursday, when police issued a warrant to speak with Higgins, he was only considered a person of interest. Police are now identifying him as a suspect.
The suspect is reported as walking with a limp.
A $9,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
KENTWOOD, Mich. — Kentwood Police are still looking for Javonte Jerome Higgins.
He’s wanted in connection to a break-in and double homicide in a Kentwood home.
Police said Vivian and David Bouwman were killed at some point during a home invasion.
Investigators believe Higgins can help them in their search for answers.
The 22-year-old has a lengthy criminal history that stretches back to 2004.
“He’s a person of interest at this point,” said Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen.
Court documents show Higgins was charged with use of marijuana twice in 2004.
In 2005 he was charged with assault and battery, running away from home, retail fraud and providing false information to a police officer.
In 2006 he was charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing an officer.
The alleged crimes escalated to home invasions in 2006, 2007 and 2012.
Police and SWAT teams raided Higgins’ parents home on Vicksburg Court in Kentwood Wednesday evening looking for evidence connected to the break-in and murder.
“Whether that’s a handgun or any other type of evidence, anything that would tie them to this incident,” said Hillen.
Higgins’ parents live only blocks away from the Bouwman home.
The house Higgins is accused of breaking into in September is also just blocks away from where the Bouwman’s lived.
Neighbors at the home that was broken into in September called police after they saw a car running outside of the home in the dark.
Court documents reveal they saw someone go around back of the house, then appear inside with a flashlight.
Police showed up and found Higgins and reported finding DVD’s, jewelry, electronics and latex gloves inside the car.
Higgins was offered a plea deal on that 2012 break-in and was supposed to attend a mandatory Kent County Court hearing on the case next week.
He was also charged with another home invasion nearby his parent’s home in 2006 on Bunker Hill Court.
In 2007, Higgins admitted to breaking a window during a home invasion in Gaines Township on Old Lantern Drive.
Police said he had an accomplice in the Gaines Township crime and another man was charged along with Higgins.
FOX 17 stopped by Higgins current address in Grand Rapids.
A man who didn’t want to be identified said Higgins’ aunt lived there and Higgins was using their address for school and to receive mail, but he said they had no idea where he was.
In addition to finding Higgins, police want to locate another man whose image was sketched from descriptions a witness gave to them after the couple’s car was torched in Wyoming.
They feel that man helped to set the Bouwman’s Cadillac on fire at an apartment complex.
“There is silent observer tip money for this and you know we need the community to identify this person and to give us a call so that we can track him down,” said Hillen.
The reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the murders in Kentwood started at $2,500. However, it has grown to more than $8,500.
The Woodland Mall reportedly made a donation of $1,000 and another $5,000 came in from an anonymous donor Friday.
KENTWOOD, Mich. – Acting on tips from the community, Kentwood Police dressed in full body armor entered a home looking for Javonte Higgins.
Higgins is a person of interest in the double homicide of David and Vivian Bouwman, who were found shot to death in their home a few blocks away from Vicksburg Court.
The address, 2389 Vicksburg Court SE, is close to 52nd Street and Stauffer Avenue SE, which was blocked off by police as they conducted the search.
It was an unusual sight for Paul Kabban who lives just across the street from the action. ”You move here because it’s a safe neighborhood,” said Kabban. “But to see that stuff go in a safe neighborhood kind of makes you wonder where to go next.”
Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen said a series of tips led them to search the house for Higgins, 22.
Higgins is wanted for an unrelated home invasion and car theft in the area, Hillen said.
Kentwood police released a sketch Thursday morning of another person of interest in the case. They say now there are two people being sought.
“The tips keep coming in,” said Chief Hillen. “We’re saying there is probably more than one person involved here. I don’t believe this person (Higgins) is the person in the sketch.”
Police said they got in contact with the relatives of Higgins living at the Vicksburg Court home who are cooperating with the investigation.
After determining no one was inside the house, police worked fast to secure any evidence they could, including “anything that may attribute them to the crime, whether that is a handgun or any type of evidence that would tie them to this incident,” said Hillen.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345. Information leading to an arrest can be worth up $2,500 in reward.