Arrest made in 1988 Bowie County murder

Lee Hamburg 05.02.19_1556832040186.PNG.jpg

BOWIE CO., Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – An update to the FBI’s fingerprint database has helped investigators identify a suspect in a 30-year-old murder case, according to the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office. 

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Sheriff James Prince announced the arrest of 52-year-old Lee Morris Hamburg, who was living with Gene Downs before he was found shot to death inside his home in October 2018. 

Downs had been shot multiple times and his vehicle had also been stolen. 

Prince says investigators submitted evidence to the FBI and several other agencies but the killer remained unknown and the case grew cold. In late 2018, the FBI updated their Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), which allowed them to identify Hamburg as a potential suspect in the case.

Prince says he and Investigator Chad Ford, along with and Captain Robby McCarver, traveled to Rocklin, California in early April to interview Hamburg about his involvement in the crime. The interview resulted in an arrest warrant being issued Hamburg on a charge of murder. The sheriff says Hamburg confessed to the murder.

Hamburg was arrested in California and transported back to Bowie County, where he is being held on $500,000 bond.

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