Record Provides Clues Why Javonte Higgins Is Wanted In Kentwood Homicides

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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.

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  • concerned mother

    when are the police going to settle the previous cases? I have not heard anything new on the investigation about the 3 related shootings that took place just before Christmas. We have some very dangerous people walking around Grand Rapids, no one is safe anymore. Is it a racial issue? Is this older white couple a higher priority? Maybe the police have too much to handle. I pray every day that these killers are found and our streets can become a little safer. I also pray for the loved ones who are living with the huge losses in their lives. I pray the killing will end. Turn off the TV and talk to your children every day. Sit down and eat meals with them. Listen to them with love. Show them by example how to be honorable to God.

    • AngryResident

      I just love this ignorant and reverse racism in "Is this older white couple a higher priority?" 1st, you have multiple police jurisdictions that don't work each others cases unless one of the GR thugs wander this way (just like last night after an armed robber in GR and got caught here in Kentwood). As Kentwood's first murder(s) in decades you bet KPD will make these their #1 priority. 2nd, the GR shootings you mention were gang related BLACK ON BLACK crime! Sadly, hoodies don't talk so it's slow moving and NOT random burglary and murder on INNOCENTS in their own homes. You bet this is a priority. FIX? PARENTS need to raise their little criminals better, teach them some values like you get what you EARN not what you take. Gang punks get what they deserve. Period. They made their choices and obviously their loved ones didn't make a positive enough influence in their lives to keep them out of the system – or alive.

  • Jalonehy

    concerned mother.. I don't think it is racial. Some speculate that the car that was stolen had GM's onstar installed so that the police have a record of where the car went after it was stolen which leads them directly to the probable suspect and/or their friends. The shooters in the G.R. crimes are very dangerous indeed. Unfortunately the police might not have any leads in the G.R. cases.

    • AngryResident

      Because it's gang on gang related and they don't talk! Can't make any progress if these folks in the hood don't want to help by telling the police what they know and see. So sick of this racism bull.