Burning Cadillac Key Evidence in Couple’s Homicide

Posted at 12:42 PM, Jan 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-08 12:49:28-05

WYOMING, Mich.– Some of the tenants at the small Arbor Park Apartments were flabbergasted on Saturday morning when they noticed a Cadillac in flames outside of their building.

“I had just woke up and I heard a horn, so I looked out my back window and saw a car on fire, huge flames,” said Kevin Spencer, who liveswith his wife at the complex located at 3800 Madison Avenue  in Wyoming,.

“I called 911 and said there is a car burning up over here and the fire department was here 10 minutes later,” recalls  Spencer.

Neighbors Dorothy Daniels and her brother were quick enough to take cell phone video and pictures of the burning vehicle.

Little did they know at the time, the torched gold Cadillac DeVille would become a key piece of evidence in a double homicide investigation several miles away.

Police say the vehicle belonged to David Bouwman, 81, and his wife, Vivian, 80, who were found murdered the same day in their home off Stowevalley Drive in Kentwood.

Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen says autopsy results are not complete, but investigators believe the couple died of gunshot wounds during a home invasion.

The suspect or suspects appeared to have broken into the home through a back window and left behind footprints.

It’s unclear if anything inside the home was taken. The vehicle was stolen at their home and then torched Saturday morning.

No arrests have been made, but police are following up on several tips and processing evidence from the scene.

“Whoever torched that car, somebody had to see someone,” said Chief Hillen.

Investigators are also looking to see if the home invasion is connected to three other break-ins in the neighborhood.

The Kentwood neighborhood, known as Princeton Estates, is upscale, usually quiet, and is well lit.

The Bouwmans were grandparents and had been married for more than 50 years. They are being remembered as people everyone loved.

Nobody can make sense of this.

“Sick, disbelief, anger, said neighbor Tammy Foster, who is helping organize a vigil for the victims at Pinewood Park,  as part of stand against violence in the area.

The vigil starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and is open to the public. Neighbors are also planning on setting out luminaries along the streets to send a powerful message against violence.

Funeral plans have been made for the couple for Saturday. To leave a condolence message, you can click here.