Joseph Bowser II

Joseph Bowser II, 22, was found dead in Battle Creek, Michigan on Saturday. Bowser died from a single gunshot to the head, according to results of an autopsy Sunday at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo.

The suspect in the case has not been identified, though Battle Creek police are continuing interviews as part of the investigation and responding to "a ton of tips," said Detective Sgt. Todd Elliott.

"We still have some witnesses we want to talk to, people we need to talk to,” according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Bowser was working Friday night at church in the former Southeastern Middle School. He was found dead by residents of the River Apartments at 8:12 a.m. on Saturday at 85 Stringham Road, according to authorities.

Detective Sgt. Todd Elliott of the Battle Creek Police Department and police say that Saturday Bowser had been visiting someone in the complex but left at about 11 p.m. Elliott said others have told investigators the time was closer to 9 p.m. and police now believe the shooting was between 9 p.m. and midnight.

Joe was born on Feb. 10, 1996 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Tracey Cummings and Joseph Bowser I.  He was well known and loved both at WMU and at Battle Creek Central High School, where he played basketball, soccer and track, and was Homecoming King. Bowser was also a member of National Honor Society, and was called a “great problem solver.” He worked at both Remington Car Wash and Piman Painting in Battle Creek to pay his way through college, and commuted to WMU each day where he was in his second year studying civil and construction engineering.

“If you didn’t know Joe you probably would’ve said he’s shy and soft-spoken, but once you knew Joe that wasn’t the case at all,” said Jade Bolden, WMU student and friend of Bowser’s. “He had a smile that could literally brighten anyone’s day.”

Bowser’s family and others hosted memorials, including one at Battle Creek Central High School this past weekend. Visitation services were also held on Friday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium with a celebration of life to immediately following at 11:30 a.m. Bowser's burial will take place at Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek.

Bowser’s family was not available for comment.

The family has set up a scholarship in Bowser’s honor: The Joseph Bowser II Memorial Scholarship, which can be found through the Battle Creek Community Foundation.

“It really feels like a bad nightmare because no one can imagine anyone wanting to harm him,” said Bolden.


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