Vigil to be Held Tonight for Murdered Kentwood Couple

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 07, 2013

KENTWOOD, Mich. – The Kentwood neighborhood known as Princetown Estates has been on edge since and elderly couple was found murdered in their home on Saturday.

Kentwood police said David Bouwman, 81, and his wife Vivian had been victims of a home invasion and that the crime was random.

Although the autopsy reports are not complete, investigators said the couple suffered gun shot wounds.

Officials believe the crimes happened sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning at the couple’s home in the 2200 block of Stowe Valley.

“These folks didn’t pose a threat to anybody,” said Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen. “Pillars of the community, parents,  grandmas and grandpas , not only to their kids, but kids in the neighborhood. Why do these things happen? I don’t know.”

Investigators believe the suspect or suspects broke in through a back window, but it is unclear if they stole anything inside.

Police told FOX 17 News that the suspect or suspects stole the couple’s gold Cadillac DeVille. It was found by Wyoming police Saturday morning. The car was burned and abandoned off of Madison Avenue.

“Whoever torched that car, somebody in the community saw something,” said Chief Hillen

As police follow up on a number of leads and process more evidence, the community is left with more questions.

“These were  hard working people, who worked for what they had and someone felt they had right to come in take it and that’s just not right on any level, ” said Tammy Foster who lives in the same neighborhood with her husband and children.

“Sad. Sick. Disbelief. Anger. I don’t want this to be my neighborhood,” said Foster. “It shouldn’t be this way. We should feel safe in our homes. Safe in our neighborhood. Our families should feel safe.”

People living in the upscale neighborhood are taking a stand against the violence.

On Tuesday, a candlelight vigil will be held for the victims as Pinewood Park in the neighborhood at 7 p.m.

They’re also asking everyone to place a luminary around the Kentwood neighborhood to send a powerful message against violence.

Neighbors said they’ve had pockets of crime over the last year in the otherwise safe neighborhood, including car theft and arson at Pinewood Park that destroyed a playground in November.

“We are not going to live in fear,” said Foster. “We are going to do something positive to  bring awareness of this to the community and say enough is enough.”