BY MATT TROUTMAN
— TRAVERSE CITY — A new tip in the hit-and-run death of bicyclist Kelly Ann Boyce refocused public attention on the unsolved crime, but authorities cautioned that further investigation of the potential suspect is required and the lead is anything but a sure thing.
The possible suspect lives outside Grand Traverse County, and Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said the tip involves a vehicle that matches descriptions from witnesses who heard or observed portions of the July 5 incident that claimed Boyce's life.
Ayling said detectives haven't yet made contact with the vehicle's owner; the person lives in Michigan, but far from Traverse City.
"It's taken longer because the tip is out of the area," Ayling said. "We haven't been able to rule it out."
Boyce, 29, died after a motorist struck and killed her as she pedaled along Washington Street on her way home from work. Witnesses saw a dark pickup truck or SUV speed away from the scene. Detectives still haven't identified a suspect, despite an exhaustive six-month investigation aided by hundreds of tips from the community.
Boyce's sister Nicole Nostrandt is heartened that news of the tip sparked renewed interest in the case. She said social media, especially Facebook, helped family and investigators spread word about the case to places far outside Traverse City.
"It's good and I'm glad people are paying attention and getting the words out there and trying to find that person," she said.
Ayling said detectives cleared more than half of the 600-plus tips received since Boyce's death. He said he's seen nothing to indicate that the latest tip will lead to much more than other once-promising leads that failed to pan-out.
"Honestly, I don't think it will turn out to be any more than any other tips," he said.
Ayling said detectives plan an all-day trip in the next week to investigate the vehicle and potential suspect.
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.