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Bellevue Cold Case: Bowling Team Could Have Clue in 1980 Murder Case

Bellevue Police say that members of the bowling team called "Who Cares" could be helpful in the investigation of the 1980 murder of Susan Lowe. Michael Allan Halgren, 56, was charged with her murder after police say his DNA matched the evidenc

OUTSIDE SEATTLE, WA -- Members of a 1980 bowling team could be help in the investigation of the murder of a local woman 33 years ago, police say, and the department hopes the public can help identify some of the bowlers in an old photo.

The Bellevue team was called “Who Cares,” and they bowled at the Sun Villa Lanes, in the Eastgate area of Bellevue, around 1979 and 1980, according to the Bellevue Police Department. The department would like to identify and interview the people in the photo as possible witnesses, according to police.

"I know the photo isn’t great but the detective thought we would give it a try," said Bellevue Police Department spokeswoman Officer Carla Iafrate.

Michael Allan Halgren, 56, was arrested at a sex offender treatment program on McNeil Island and is charged with Susan Lowe's murder. 

Halgren's arrest was made early January after police say his DNA matched the evidence on the scene. Halgren pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder last week.

Halgren denied knowing Lowe, and police made no connection to the two until the DNA match, police said in January.

Both Susan Lowe and Halgren's then-fiance bowled regularly at Sun Villa Lanes, though on separate teams, according to investigators. While neither Halgren's fiance nor Lowe were on the team "Who Cares," police want to interview the members of "Who Cares" for more information that could help the case, said Bellevue Police spokesman Officer Seth Tyler.

The investigator Det. Jerry Johnson does not know who the individuals are on the team, and police hope the photo rings a bell, Tyler said.

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Earlier coverage

Bellevue Police Arrest Sexual Predator in 1980 Murder of Susan Lowe

Bellevue Cold Case: Halgren Pleads Not Guilty in 1980 Murder

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Lowe was strangled in her apartment near Bellevue College the night of Wednesday, April 23, 1980, according to court records. Her roommate discovered Lowe the next morning in their apartment at 2501 148th Ave SE, then known as the Quorum Apartments, now known as the Carrington Apartments. Investigators say that evidence shows that Lowe also was raped.

Halgren grew up in Bellevue and was engaged to a woman who lived in Bellevue at the time of Lowe's murder, according to court documents.

Bellevue Police interviewed Halgren's then-fiance, who later divorced him in 1986, according to court documents.

The woman told police that in 1980, she was on a Wednesday or Thursday night bowling team at Sun Villa Bowling Lanes in the Eastgate area, and Halgren sometimes would come and watch her, according to the court documents. 

Halgren, a resident of McNeil Island's Special Commitment Center, was identified last year via DNA obtained from sperm found at the scene in 1980, according to police. Halgren is being held on no-bail in King County jail.

If convicted as charged, he faces life in prison, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

How to help

“Who Cares” bowled at the Sun Villa Lanes, 3080 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 in Eastgate around 1979/1980. The Bellevue Police Department would like contact from the people in this photo. They can contact Det. Jerry Johnson 425-452-2754.

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