Michigan man charged with killing, mutilating daughter, 13, as remains found 31 years after she went missing
Dennis Lee Bowman has been charged with open murder, felony murder, first-degree child abuse and mutilation of a body in his daughter's death
A Michigan man who was arrested last year for the 1980 murder of a young woman has now also been charged in the death of his teenage daughter.
Dennis Lee Bowman, 71, was charged with open murder, felony murder, first-degree child abuse, and mutilation of a body on Friday, May 15, 31 years after his 14-year-old daughter Aundria Michelle Bowman was last seen, according to a statement from the Allegan County Prosecutor's Office.
Bowman was taken into custody last November on murder charges relating to the death of Kathleen Doyle, a 25-year-old who was found stabbed and strangled in her home in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1980 while her husband had been deployed as a Navy pilot, reported People.
Prosecuting attorney Myrene Koch said detectives from the Allegan County Sheriff's Office and Michigan State Police had been working on the murder with the Norfolk Virginia Police Department and Naval Criminal Investigation Services last Fall.
"This 39-year-long investigation demonstrates the Norfolk Police Department’s commitment to pursue justice for victims and their families no matter how long it takes. No victim is ever forgotten," said Norfolk Chief of Police Larry Boone at the time.
Following his arrest, Bowman was extradited from Michigan to Virginia, and during an arraignment in February, told Norfolk General District Judge Robert Rigney that he wanted to represent himself and plead guilty to Doyle's murder. However, Rigney did not accept the plea at the time and the 71-year-old has not yet been convicted in the case. At the same time, authorities were investigating the disappearance of Aundria, who was first reported as a runaway on March 11, 1989, and whose disappearance had remained a mystery in the three decades since. They made a breakthrough when they were led to a shallow grave at Bowman's property near the 3200 Block of 136th Avenue in Allegan County's Monterey Township, and found a body.
Forensic biologists at Michigan State University and forensic pathologists at Western Michigan University then helped positively identify the skeletal remains as belonging to the teen. Besides the murders, Bowman has had a long history of run-ins with the law. He had been convicted of sexual assault in 1980 after he was accused of attacking a 19-year-old woman on her bike. Then, in June 1998, he was charged with breaking and entering into a female coworker's home to steal her lingerie, among other things. He claimed at the time that he had only gone to the home because he had diarrhea and needed to use her bathroom.
However, detectives didn't believe his story and obtained a search warrant to go through his property on 136th Avenue, where they found a duffle bag containing a sawed-off shotgun, a black mask, and several pairs of women's lingerie.
He ended up pleading to one count of breaking and entering in exchange for several other charges being dropped. Before sentencing, he wrote a letter to the judge where he brought up his daughters, "I am the father of two lovely daughters, one 25 and the other 11, and feel that being a parent is one of the most important and sobering things a person can undertake."