Coincidence Or Connection? Kentwood Murder Suspect And Victim Bowled At Same Spot

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jan 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-17 11:54:58-05

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.