SAN DIEGO — San Diego police Officer Gary Bowen, a 23-year- veteran of the force and an acclaimed sketch artist, died, his union announced in a tweet Sunday.
Bowen died on Wednesday, according to the San Diego Police Officers Association tweet.
The former marine and 20-year veteran police officer was one of only two police sketch artists in San Diego County.
His sketches were instrumental in identifying perpetrators in some 100 cases and were often seen on Crime Stoppers.
He saw that police computers were producing unsatisfactory composite sketches, so Bowen put himself through 120 hours of training at his own expense, became certified and was accepted by SDPD.
Bowen had offered advice to witnesses trying to identify suspects, saying it was like a Mr. Potato Head, and that it just required determining the shape of the head, then putting on the eyes, ears, lips and nose.