Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 10, 2013

Police scour video for hit-and-run clues

BY MATT TROUTMAN mtroutman@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

— TRAVERSE CITY — Investigators hope to widen their search for clues in the hit-and-run death of a Traverse City bicyclist, even as they sort through more than 100 tips received from the public.

A motorist who killed Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, remains at large. A person who witnesses said drove a dark pickup or SUV struck Boyce early July 5 as she pedaled home on the 600 block of Washington Street. The vehicle that hit Boyce dragged her more than a block to a Railroad Street alley.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said most of the 124 tips — and counting — relate to vehicles with front-end damage. But authorities are most interested in speaking with people who hear something suspicious from friends, family and acquaintances.

“At this point we’re hoping the tip would be more related to a person saying something,” he said.

Police officers walked door-to-door Tuesday and hoped to find a camera that captured the killer along potential routes to and from the crime scene. Ayling said detectives reached out to all home and business owners who use surveillance cameras in that area, but could always use more help.

“If anyone had video between 1:45 and 2 (a.m.) that would be helpful,” he said.

Most witnesses reported seeing a dark pickup truck or SUV at about 1:50 a.m., but police aren’t discounting a report of a silver SUV in the area. Ayling cautioned that the suspect’s vehicle may not show many signs of damage.

“There was very, very little damage on the bike,” he said, pointing out the only mark on the bicycle was a scuff where the vehicle’s bumper struck the back tire. “It’s a minor scuff. I doubt there was very much paint transfer. It’s otherwise unmarked. It seems to be a low-speed collision.”

Capt. Brian Heffner said 10 detectives, including five from the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department, are assigned to the case. He said about 20 tips were received overnight Tuesday from the detectives line at 231-995-5152 or the anonymous tips line at 231-947-8477.

Boyce was set to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with local musician Paul Hurlbert. Their friend Mike Moran is acting as family spokesman.

“A lot of people are contacting friends and family about what they saw, but we’re encouraging them to call the police department directly,” he said. “Call the tip lines.”

A public funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. in F & M Park. Attendees are encouraged to ride their bikes to the funeral. Moran said the route of a bike ride from F & M Park following the service has been changed to end at Hannah Park with a police escort.

“We’re just hoping everybody pays their respects to Kelly,” he said.