Man Whose Adopted Daughter Mysteriously Vanished After Molestation Accusation Charged With Separate 1980 Murder

Dennis Bowman allegedly killed Kathleen Doyle, a Navy pilot's wife, in Norfolk, Virginia. Nine years later, his 14-year-old daughter Aundria Bowman disappeared from their rural Michigan home, never to be heard from again.

Digital Original
5 Infamous Cold Cases of Murder

A man whose adopted daughter mysteriously vanished after allegedly accusing him of sexual abuse has been arrested in a separate cold case murder of a Virginia woman, killed in her home nearly 40 years ago.

Dennis Bowman, 70, of Allegan County, Michigan was arrested Friday and charged with the 1980 murder of 25-year-old Kathleen Doyle, according to a press release from the Norfolk Police Department.

Doyle was found murdered in her Norfolk home while her husband, a U.S. Navy pilot, was deployed. 

“Norfolk Police detectives and #NCIS agents have been unyielding in their efforts to bring Mrs. Doyle’s killer to justice,” police stated. “Ultimately, the culmination of these efforts, along with forensic evidence has led to this case being solved.”

Authorities haven't detailed the evidence against Bowman, nor has a possible motive been revealed.

Kathleen Doyle Pd

Bowman has a criminal history, including convictions in 1980 for sexual assault and in 1998 for federal burglary, according to Fox 17 in Grand Rapids.

There's also the case of his adopted daughter's disappearance, though he's never been charged with a crime in connection with it.

Nine years after Doyle was murdered, 14-year-old Aundria Bowman vanished from Hamilton, Michigan, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Before disappearing, Aundria had allegedly accused Dennis Bowman of sexually abusing her, according to the missing persons nonprofit The Charley Project.

"He was already on parole at the time for an unrelated offense; in 1980, he had attempted to kidnap a teenage girl so he could rape her,” The Charley Project states, referencing his previous sexual assault conviction. 

The nonprofit claims that in 1988, a year before she vanished, Aundria had stopped going to school and told police that she was being molested. Her claims were dismissed as personal struggles stemming from learning she was adopted.

Dennis Aundria Bowman Pd

“Shortly afterwards, Dennis moved the family to a trailer in an isolated, rural area. Aundria disappeared from there,” the Charley Project states. “Her last confirmed location was reported by Dennis, who said she'd stolen some money from the house before she left.”

While he has never been classified as a suspect in his adopted daughter’s disappearance, he’s never been ruled out either, Fox 17 reports. An unnamed and retired Allegan County sheriff's deputy told FOX 17 the department had investigated Bowman in the past regarding Aundria's disappearance but there wasn't enough evidence to charge him with anything.

Bowman is now awaiting extradition to Virginia to face formal charges for the killing of Doyle. Investigators are combing through Bowman’s property for evidence, according to Fox 17. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

“This 39-year-long investigation demonstrates the Norfolk Police Department’s commitment to pursue justice for victims and their families no matter how long it takes,” Norfolk Chief of Police Larry D. Boone stated. “No victim is ever forgotten.”

Related Stories

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet