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Howland officer found dead in Niles

NILES — The death of a Howland police officer is being investigated as a suicide after the man was found deceased in his car around 7:30 a.m. May 18 on an access road behind Dollar General Market, 5120 Youngstown Warren Road.

Niles fire and police found Eric Bowker after receiving a call from Howland police asking to check on Bowker, who was believed to be in distress and heading to that area, according to a police report.

The official cause of death is pending.

Bowker started his career in Champion and worked as an officer in Howland for 26 years. He was a school resource officer for 17 years.

“Bowker touched many hearts over the years and certainly touched the lives of many Howland students,” the Howland Police Department wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. “Eric will be deeply missed by his Howland Township family, Howland Police family, and all of his brothers and sisters in blue.”

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