Families at a lakefront campground in Utah were evacuated quickly and quietly before federal marshals took a Pearl River County murder suspect into custody.
Marshals captured 61-year-old Charles Eugene Bowman on Thursday night after receiving a tip and putting him under surveillance, Pearl River County Chief Investigator Marc Ogden said.
“They caught him without him realizing they were there,” Ogden said.
Bowman, sought in the killing of his wife Katherine at their home in the Barth community, was arrested without incident “about 6:30 p.m. local time” Thursday, Ogden said. Bowman had disappeared June 29 when deputies went with a search warrant to look for her at their home on Owl Hoot Road.
The Rich County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday night said Bowman was apprehended in Rainbow Cove Campground in Bear Lake State Park after his vehicle was spotted there.
The state park, touted for its Caribbean-blue waters and sandy beaches, is in the Rocky Mountains at the Utah-Idaho border. It’s unclear if Bowman knows anyone in the area.
Utah natural resources agents had reason to believe Bowman — and the car he was reported missing in — was at Rainbow Cove Campground, Ogden said.
Federal marshals had him under surveillance to make sure it was him and officers evacuated families around him before they approached him, he said.
The U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team tweeted news of his capture Thursday night.
“We are very grateful to law enforcement and federal marshals in Utah for their efforts to find Charles Bowman,” Ogden said Friday.
Bowman was booked at the Davis County jail in Farmington, Utah, early Friday morning. He was being held with no bond pending extradition to Pearl River County.
Bowman’s wife was also 61. Her remains, when discovered, were not immediately identifiable until crime lab tests on July 2 confirmed her identity. Her grown adult children had last seen her on May 13, Mother’s Day.
Investigators said they have found video surveillance showing Bowman had been staying at hotels within an hour’s drive of Salt Lake City and at the campground in the days before his arrest.
Investigators had tracked Bowman to Utah in early July through other surveillance videos, Ogden had told the Sun Herald.
“They were able to find video footage of him at a gas station in Evanston, Wyoming, on June 30,” Ogden previously said. “He was also seen at a Walmart in the Salt Lake City area July 1.”
Deputies had gone to the Bowmans’ home to talk to her July 28. They found Charles Bowman cutting the grass but he reportedly told investigators she was on the Mississippi Coast. The next day, they returned with a search warrant and found Charles Bowman and his car missing and human remains in the house that were believed to be those of his wife.
Pearl River County Deputy Coroner Albert Lee previously told the Sun Herald the remains found on the Bowman’s property were identified by experts at the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory.
“A forensic anthropologist and a forensic odontologist examined the remains we sent up and verified them through dental remains,” Lee said July 2.
The cause of death remains under investigation.