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September 7, 2013

Ghost bike returned to Boyce memorial

TRAVERSE CITY — A makeshift memorial where Traverse City bicyclist Kelly Ann Boyce lay dying became a source of comfort for her family, but some neighborhood residents apparently grew tired of the reminder of her hit-and-run death.

Michelle Boyce often tends flowers, placards and assorted mementos that sprouted up in along Railroad Street since July 5, when an unknown motorist struck and killed her daughter. But last week she noticed the memorial’s centerpiece — a white “ghost bike” had disappeared.

In the bike’s place was a sign saying it was removed after complaints from neighborhood residents. Kelly’s older sister Nicole Nostrandt was not pleased, and she was not alone -- a massive social media outcry led to the bicycle’s return to the memorial on Sept. 5.

“The thing that upset me the most when I found out it was gone is it’s been two months and we still don’t know who did this,” Nostrandt said. “By taking it down, it’s just like they want to forget it.”

Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, was pedaling her bicycle home from work when a vehicle struck her in the 600 block of Washington Street and dragged her screaming for more than a block. The motorist remains at-large, despite a two-month investigation by Traverse City police and other local law enforcement.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said investigators went over the Boyce case “front to back” in a Sept. 5 meeting, but there were no new developments to report. He said detectives continue pursuing a tip centered on a man who splits his time between Traverse City and Alpena County.

“We’re still trying to exclude him, but haven’t been able to do it,” Ayling said.

Nostrandt said Boyce’s family knows police are working hard. She said the family believes the ghost bike is an important reminder to the public that the person who took Kelly from them remains free.

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