“That prior case is still open and we’re still investigating it,” Heffner said. “Both incidents — a year ago and the one that happened this morning — are very similar. Both involved a female riding her bike home and struck from behind by a dark-colored vehicle in a residential area downtown.”
Heffner said officers briefly spoke with Boyce at the scene and conducted interviews with at least six neighborhood witnesses who reported seeing either a dark pickup truck or SUV drive away.
Washington Street resident John Flesher awoke early Friday to a crash and piercing screams. He looked out his window and saw a dark vehicle moving quickly around the corner onto Railroad Street.
“The screams followed the truck,” he said. “The screams were definitely coming from the truck, but I couldn’t see who was doing the screaming.”
Flesher initially thought someone had been abducted or a July 4 reveler was pulling a prank until he saw his neighbors pull a bicycle out of the roadway.
“That’s when it dawned on me what happened,” he said.
Just minutes after the accident, Patrick Butcher and others bicycled from the downtown restaurant House of Doggs to his mother’s Washington Street residence. They found the bicycle in the road and were told by family members in the house that a dark vehicle drove off from the accident.
“There was a tire track, a solid path of rubber from here to the (Railroad Street) alley,” Butcher said.
A long tire track was visible Friday from the 600 block of Washington Street leading to the Railroad Street alleyway where Boyce was found.
Police are asking members of the public who may know anyone traveling on or near Washington Street on Friday at about 1:50 a.m. to contact detectives at 231-995-5152 or call the anonymous tips line at 231-947-8477.