Arrest made in 1988 Bowie County murder

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A suspect has been arrested in the 1988 murder of Gene Downs in Simms, TX, according to Bowie County Sheriff James Prince.

Gene Downs was found murdered in his home on October 23, 1988. He had been shot multiple times and his vehicle had been stolen.

According to Bowie County Sheriff’s office, Lee Morris Hamburg has been arrested for the murder of Downs. He is being held on $500,000 bond.

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Investigators submitted evidence to the FBI and several other agencies but the suspect was unknown and the case grew cold. In late 2018, the FBI updated their Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and identified Morris as a potential suspect in this case.

On April 9 Sheriff James Prince, Investigator Chad Ford, and Captain Robby McCarver traveled to Rocklin, CA and interviewed Lee Morris Hamburg about his involvement in this crime. The interview resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for Lee Morris Hamburg for the offense of Murder. The Rocklin, CA Police Department assisted in the arrest of Lee Morris Hamburg and he was booked into the Placer County, CA Sheriff’s Office Jail.

Hamburg refused extradition until his appearance at a California hearing on April 24. On April 30, Bowie County Sheriff’s Investigators traveled to Placer County, CA and transported Hamburg back to Bowie County where he was booked into the Bi State Jail. Hamburg confessed to killing Gene Downs.

Justice of the Peace Todd Fore set his bond at $500,000.

Hamburg was arrested in California for the murder.

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