Allegan County murder suspect pleads guilty to 1980 killing in VA

Allegan County

A mug shot of Dennis Bowman from the City of Norfolk (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Dennis Bowman, the West Michigan man arrested nearly four decades after the murder of a Navy pilot’s wife in Virginia, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree murder, rape and burglary.

Bowman, 71, received two life sentences for the murder and rape of Kathleen Doyle, and 20 years for the burglary.

In February, Bowman was extradited from Allegan County in Michigan to Norfolk to stand trial for the 1980 murder of Doyle. She was found strangled and stabbed twice in the chest at her home while her husband was on deployment. 

It is unclear what connection Bowman had to Doyle or her neighborhood in 1980. Court documents show that he has a criminal record for sexual assault in 1981.

Investigators used forensic evidence to connect Bowman to the Doyle case. The arrest culminated nearly 40 years of investigation by Norfolk Police, NCIS, and state and local authorities in Michigan.

Bowman’s extradition to Virginia came the same week authorities found human skeletal remains east of Hamilton while investigating the 1989 disappearance of his adopted daughter, Aundria Bowman.

A file image of Aundria Bowman via NamUs.

Authorities confirmed in May that the remains were Aundria’s and said Bowman would be brought back to Michigan to be charged with her murder.

Aundria was was 14 when she disappeared from the family’s Fillmore Township home more than 31 years ago. She was initially reported as a runaway, but Aundria’s biological mother previously told News 8 she had long suspected Bowman had done something to her.

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