TRAVERSE CITY — A mechanic who noticed something “suspicious” on a vehicle called in a tip that police continue to pursue in the unsolved death of Traverse City bicyclist Kelly Ann Boyce.
Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said initial studies indicate an “unlikely” connection with Boyce’s early July 5 death, but detectives await lab results on evidence collected from the vehicle.
“It’s still not nothing,” he said.
News about the tip in late December reignited the community’s attention in the case at a time when it seemed the investigation had cooled. The tip originated from outside Grand Traverse County and involves a vehicle similar to the dark pickup truck or sport utility vehicles that witnesses described speeding from Washington Street when Boyce, 29, was struck, dragged and died from her injuries.
Ayling said detectives inspected the vehicle but haven’t spoken with its owner. He said a mechanic who heard about the Boyce case made the call after noticing something appeared “suspicious” while working on the vehicle.
Boyce’s mother Michelle Boyce said she keeps in touch with the city’s lead detective, but avoids asking too many details for the sake of her “sanity.” She’s had her hopes dashed before as once-promising leads -- such as one involving a man who split his time between Traverse City and Alpena County — evaporated under further scrutiny.
“I just want that one true person who did this and get that phone call when that person is apprehended,” she said.
Michelle Boyce said her daughter’s birthday on Jan. 30 ushered in a whole new wave of memories and emotions. She remembers spending time at the beach with Kelly just days before her death, when they made plans for a 30th birthday bash.
“It was her golden birthday,” Michelle Boyce said. “She was so excited to enter what she called her ‘dirty 30s.’”
Kelly Boyce’s sister Nicole Nostrandt called it “heartbreaking” to know her sister didn’t get to celebrate her birthday while the motorist who killed her presumably roams free.
“It’s just something you carry with you every day wondering,” Nostrandt said.
Ayling said detectives may request additional forensic tests on the vehicle. He said detectives continue actively investigating about 30 tips out of more than 600 received after Boyce’s death.
Members of the public with information on the case can call detectives at 231-995-5152 or the anonymous tips line at 231-947-8477. A $50,000 reward remains in place.