Bowman to be extradited to Toledo for murder charges

UPDATE: Robert Bowman was arrested last week in California for the murder of 14-year-old Eileen Adams in 1967. Toledo police expected him to fight extradition to Toledo, but a California judge has ordered the 72-year-old be returned to face the murder charges.

The following story about Bowman appeared on News 11 and WTOL.com on Oct. 3.


Report by Colleen Wells - email | bio
Posted by LS

TOLEDO (WTOL) - There is a major breakthrough in one of Toledo's most horrific crimes.

Officers have arrested a man for brutally killing a 14-year-old student back in 1967. Police say they've solved their oldest cold case, and they couldn't be happier.

California police have 72-year old Robert Bowman in custody, more than 40 years after police say he sexually assaulted and killed the Central Catholic freshman Eileen Adams.

Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre tells us, "This is a case that you want brought to closure. For the victim's family, for the victim herself, and just because society demands it. You can't allow the people that commit these types of heinous crimes to walk the street."

More on wtol.com

  • Click on the featured video to watch the full interview with Chief Navarre. He remembers this crime vividly. His dad was a police lieutenant working homicide when it happened, and Chief Navarre attended Central High a few years after the murder.
  • Watch Robert Bowman's interview with CBS2 in Palm Springs just one day after he was arrested.

Eileen Adams' family says they are still in shock about the arrest.

Bowman has been a suspect in this case for some time. Chief Navarre says Bowman's ex-wife came forward about ten years after the murder. But, police didn't have enough evidence.

Fast forward some 30 years and technology caught up with the case. DNA on Eileen Adams' clothing linked Bowman to the crime, so police re-opened the murder investigation.

"This is a DNA case. It becomes a little easier when you have new technology and new science," Navarre says.

Even with DNA, police worked for nearly two years tracking Bowman down. Then yesterday, a major breakthrough when California police thought the now homeless man looked suspicious, brought him in, and found Bowman was wanted for murder.

The police work is not yet done. "This goes 41 years back. So, those detectives now are really going to have to dig and work hard to find witnesses," says Retired Sgt.. Richard Murphy.

Chief Navarre says they're working closely with the prosecutor's office, and he thinks Bowman is competent to stand trial.

News 11 will continue to follow this story.