TRAVERSE CITY — An eerie feeling filled Scott Boyce as he looked upon a white "ghost bike" parked in a Traverse City alleyway.
The bike marks the spot where Boyce's older sister Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, lay dying after a hit-and-run collision that knocked her from her bicycle. Scott Boyce last visited that location long ago, amid the swirl of grief that gripped his family and the community after his sister's death.
He returned to the site Wednesday for the first time in almost a year.
"It's really starting to sink in now,” he said. "It seems like the year has been in a blink of an eye."
Kelly Ann Boyce died early July 5, a year ago today, after a motorist struck her in the 600 block of Washington Street as she biked home. The vehicle dragged her screaming for more than a block to a Railroad Street alleyway.
Boyce's death sparked a massive response from community members, hundreds of whom attended a memorial service in F&M Park to mourn a young woman many wished they'd had a chance to know.
Boyce's friend Maggie Smith compared Boyce to the glow of a campfire, a light that draws people together. She found it strange to contemplate that it's been a year since they last talked, had lunch, laughed together or exchanged text messages.
“I’m not counting the days since I last saw her, but the years,” she said.
The crime remains unsolved, despite an exhaustive investigation headed by Traverse City police Detective Matt Richmond. He stepped foot in the alleyway shortly after an ambulance took Boyce away and he's remained with the case ever since.
"The difficulty is the nature of the crime here and the fact it's still unsolved," he said. "It's been a year and there's still 703 tips. That's still difficult."