Sheriff: Burned body is that of suspect’s spouse

Lance Robert Bowers in February 2019 (left) and at his booking June 4 at the Okanogan County Jail. (Department of Corrections/Okanogan County Sheriff's Office)

OKANOGAN — The body of a woman found in the trunk of a burning car has been identified as the spouse of a jailed suspect — a man who was shot by Okanogan County deputies investigating the suspicious fire.

Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley said Thursday the body is that of Angela M. Bowers, listed as a missing person since June 17. Her body was found June 3 in a burning car, parked on Frosty Creek Road in the Aeneas Valley.

Firefighters who arrived to douse the blaze discovered her body in the trunk. A few hours later, two sheriff’s deputies confronted Lance Robert Bowers, 37, on Aeneas Valley Road and shot him when he allegedly brandished a handgun and refused to comply with their commands.

Bowers survived, and remains held in the Okanogan County Jail on charges of assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. However, he has not been arrested or charged in Angela Bowers’ death. Her body remained unidentified even after an autopsy, but Okanogan County Coroner David Rodriguez issued a death certificate naming her and listing her cause of death as homicide.

Angela Bowers’ parents petitioned a judge in late June and won custody of her 14-year-old son, the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle reports. In court filings, she was presumed dead.

At the time of his arrest, Lance Bowers was on lifetime court-ordered supervision for a 2005 guilty plea to second-degree assault with sexual motivation. He has earlier convictions for residential burglary and possession of stolen property.

The two deputies who shot Bowers spent just over a month on administrative leave until they were cleared to return to work. An interagency investigative team judged their use of weapons justified.