Authorities: 1989 case search yields skeletal remains

Allegan County

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say they found human skeletal remains Wednesday as they investigated the 1989 disappearance of a teen girl near Hamilton.

Authorities searched a property on 136th Avenue at 32nd Street in Monterey Township, east of Hamilton, on Wednesday. In an afternoon press conference, Allegan County Undersheriff Mike Larsen said investigators learned Tuesday that Aundria Bowman’s body may be buried there in a shallow cement-covered grave.

Larsen said it could be weeks before authorities positively identify the remains as Aundria’s.

Earlier Wednesday, Aundria’s biological mother told News 8 that investigators told her Aundria’s adoptive father Dennis Bowman had confessed to killing the girl and pointed them toward his property on 136th.

“It’s horrifying and sad and disgusting and everything that you can think of,” Aundria’s mother Cathy Terkanian said.

Aundria was 14 when she vanished from her Hamilton-area home on March 11, 1989. She was initially reported as a runaway, but Terkanian said she had always suspected Dennis Bowman had done something to her.

Bowman was arrested in November for the 1980 murder of Kathleen Doyle, 25, in Norfolk, Virginia. At the time, Michigan State Police said years of investigation and forensic evidence led to the arrest.

“I think he’s a serial killer, to be honest with you,” Terkanian told News 8 over the phone from her home in Boston. “I think the family courts in Virginia gave my child to a serial killer.”

An undated courtesy photo of Dennis Bowman (Michigan State Police)
An undated courtesy photo of Dennis Bowman (Michigan State Police)

Bowman has a criminal record dating back to 1980 that includes charges for assault, burglary and sexual assault.

In 1981, he was convicted of sexual assault. According to police reports, he stopped a 19-year-old West Olive woman who was riding her bike on Lakeshore Drive and ordered her into the woods. A passing driver distracted Bowman and the woman was able to run away. Bowman fired two shots during the incident, though no one was hit.

In 1999, he was convicted of felony breaking and entering. Authorities say he broke into a female co-worker’s home and stole lingerie. At his home, police said, they found a duffel bag containing a short-barreled shotgun, black ski-mask, black sweatshirt and intimate apparel. There were pry bars in his truck.

Bowman, who does not yet face any charges in connection to Aundria’s disappearance, remained in the Allegan County Jail Wednesday.

“He is off the street. I am very relieved,” Terkanian said.

—News 8’s Heather Walker contributed to this report.

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