TRAVERSE CITY — A new tip sparked police interest in a potential suspect in the hit-and-run death of Traverse City bicyclist Kelly Ann Boyce.
Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling today said detectives spent the past week "exclusively" investigating the tip, and it'll likely consume their time for at least another week. He declined to discuss additional details.
"The person who's listed as a suspect doesn't know he's a suspect," Ayling said.
A motorist struck and killed Boyce, 29, as she pedaled her bicycle along Washington Street early July 5. Detectives received more than 600 tips in the days and weeks that followed, but further investigation eliminated all but a few.
Boyce's sister Nicole Nostrandt said her mother keeps in near-daily contact with the lead detective. Nostrandt said the family's been told about some recent "good tips," but doesn't know much more.
"We do know they work very hard on it, and we do support them 100 percent and ask people (to) keep on giving the tips they need to solve the case," she said.
Mike Moran, a friend of Boyce and her husband Paul Hurlbert, said he tries to keep his hopes in check after several once-promising leads failed to pan out in the six-month investigation. He hadn't heard about the new tip.
"That's great to hear," he said. "Unfortunately, we've heard that over 10 times; that they've been very close to somebody."
In August, detectives focused their attention on a man who split his time between Traverse City and Alpena County. Police eventually cleared him as a suspect after conducting several warrant searches and interviews about his alibi.
Nostrandt echoed Moran's sentiments. She said she's grateful for detectives' hard work, but she'll reserve her hopes until she gets another type of phone call.
"... I really want the call that says, 'We've got them,'" Nostrandt said.
Nostrandt worries about waning public attention, something that's impossible for Boyce's family, especially during the holidays when difficult emotions can be sparked even by seemingly minor things, like someone spying the perfect Christmas gift.
"She's always with us in our thoughts and our hearts," Nostrandt said. "We share stories, on the good times and the bad."
Moran founded the "Remember to Love" organization to help carry on Boyce's legacy and helped set up a $50,000 reward for information leading to her killer. Remember to Love's members plan to hold an event in the spring and pass along donations to local organizations.
But Moran said activity and public interest slowed considerably since the summer.
"I wonder what that day will feel like when they find that person," Moran said. "It feels like a long time, but it's not been."
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.