Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 31, 2013

Hit-and-run cases run cool

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Police haven’t ruled out a connection between a man who splits his time between Traverse City and Alpena County and Kelly Ann Boyce’s hit-and-run death, but after weeks of investigation, the promising tip now doesn’t seem so promising.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said witness interviews have “for the most part” borne out details of the man’s alibi for the night of July 5 when an unknown motorist struck and killed Boyce, 29.

“I believe we have talked to everybody we intend to talk to,” Ayling said. “That’s a tough question for me to answer,” he said when asked if witnesses corroborated the alibi. “There’s still questions.”

Ayling said detectives are no closer to catching the motorist who struck Boyce when she rode her bicycle down Washington Street and dragged her screaming to a Railroad Street alleyway more than a block away.

Police logged about 610 tips in the case and spent three weeks actively investigating the potential Alpena connection.

Detectives conducted several hours of interviews with the man, who lives in Traverse City and Ossineke, and executed at least five search warrants on vehicles associated with him. Ayling said investigators also checked cell phone data connected to the man.

“Nothing has pointed us toward him, but that’s what we’re looking at,” he said.

Ayling said a handful of the tips in the two months since Boyce’s death seemed promising, but eventually were discounted after hundreds of hours of investigation. One such tip concerned a man who drove away from a confrontation at a holiday party held near where Boyce was struck by a vehicle witnesses described as a dark pickup truck or SUV.

“That turned out to be false,” Ayling said of the tip, but noted detectives haven’t completely closed their investigation.

Another hit-and-run incident in Traverse City this summer also remains unsolved. Richard McClellan Jr., 44, of Kalkaska, was found critically injured and unresponsive in the Seventh Street roadway on Aug. 7. Ayling said the search for a white SUV described by a witness is active, but, like in the Boyce case, no suspect has been identified.

“There’s nothing new on either one of them right now,” he said. “We’ve got guys working them both full-time.”

Munson Medical Center spokesman Dale Killingbeck said McClellan remains hospitalized in fair condition.

Authorities do not believe the two hit-and-run incidents are connected.

Members of the public with information on either case are asked to contact the Traverse City Police Department at 231-995-5152 or the anonymous tip line at 231-947-TIPS (8477).