KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) - Javonte Higgins, who was earlier identified as a suspect in the double homicide of David and Vivian Bouwman, was arrested near Chicago.
Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen said Higgins was arrested around 3 p.m. in Blue Island, near Chicago, by the FBI Fugitive Task Force, and that the arrest happened rapidly.
FBI officials later confirmed for 24 Hour News 8 that Higgins was arrested at approx 1:35 p.m. Central Time in the vicinity of 1750 Broadway in Blue Island, Illinois. He was arrested "on the street."
Higgins was arrested on outstanding felony warrants from Wyoming related to a home invasion and pickup theft in December. In that incident, he led police on a chase, crashed the stolen vehicle, and suffered serious injuries that required hospitalization.
He left the hospital before being officially placed under arrest.
Hillen said extradition for Higgins may take days.
"Everybody will feel a little safer now," he said at a news conference.
Early on, Hillen said, the Kentwood police asked for and received help from the police departments of Wyoming and Grand Rapids, the Michigan State Police and the FBI. He said the FBI worked tirelessly behind the scenes on this case.
The other, as-yet-unidentified person of interest in the Bouwman case is still being sought. Hillen said he's believed to have played a role in the arson of the Bouwman's Cadillac, but they are not sure of any of his other involvement.
He added they received more and more tips on the case each day, and it was the final tip that sprung the FBI Fugitive Task Force into action in the Chicago area.
In a statement released after the press conference, Kentwood Mayor Richard Clanton said, "We know that our police department has much work yet to do but we are confident we will work diligently as this process
moves forward. I want to thank all departments that are assisting us in this process and there are many. I hope to personally thank them at the appropriate time. Although Mr. Higgins is only a suspect at this time, it is my hope that this is the first step in the Bouwman Family's journey to finding peace following this tragic event."
Family members of David and Vivian Bouwman were elated to learn news of the arrest of the man suspected of killing the couple.
"Wow!" said Tom Kelly, one of the Bouwmans' son-in-laws, "That's huge."
The family had been waiting for detailed information from authorities about the case including returns on DNA evidence from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab.
The news of the arrest was a surprise.
"What a blessing," Kelly said. "That way he can't do it to anybody else."
News broke late Friday afternoon that Javonte Higgins, the only person officially named as a suspect in the Bouwmans' murders, was arrested in Chicago. Police have still not said what linked him to the Bouwmans' death.
Kelly was anxious to alert other family members of the news they'd been waiting for, news that he says comes as a relief.
"Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed," Kelly said.
24 Hour News 8's Leon Hendrix contributed to this report.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
An Ottawa County farmer was injured Saturday when his clothing got caught in his tractor.