Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 6, 2013

Police renew call for help in hit-and-run case

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Somebody knows who killed Kelly Ann Boyce.

But the Traverse City bicyclist’s July 5 hit-and-run death remains unsolved even after investigators received more than 540 tips in the case. Police on Monday renewed an appeal for the public’s help tracking down the killer who struck Boyce, 29, as she pedaled her bicycle in the 600 block of Washington Street and dragged her screaming to a Railroad Street alleyway one block away.

“Something will turn up sooner or later. Somebody knows something,” said Traverse City Police Chief Mike Warren. “If it was a person by (themself) I think probably sooner or later we’re going to get something that’ll lead us down the path of where we need to go.”

The month-long investigation by Traverse City police, Grand Traverse sheriff’s detectives, Michigan State Police and FBI agents has developed several active leads and persons of interest but no firm suspects. The case’s ups and downs are frustrating for Mike Moran, a friend of Boyce and her husband Paul Hurlbert, but Moran said he knows the police are doing their best.

“It feels like we get close and then nothing happens,” he said.

Moran said a $50,000 reward for tips that leads to an arrest remains in place.

Witnesses described a dark pickup truck or SUV driving east down Washington Street at about 1:50 a.m. Warren said investigators last week canvassed northeast city neighborhoods between Boardman and Garfield avenues and Eighth and Front streets along the motorist’s potential route away from the crime.

“So far that hasn’t been real fruitful,” Warren said. “We’re continuing on that area, in different areas of the city, where a tip led us to believe somebody was in this area, but it’s not turning up too much right now.”

Police Capt. Mike Ayling said detectives believe the driver pulled into the Railroad Street alley, stopped, backed out and drove south toward Eighth Street. He said police searched for cameras, including at the intersection of Railroad and Eighth streets, to capture a glimpse of the vehicle.

“There’s cameras all over town but none of them got anything to lead us to a vehicle,” he said. “At that time of night, it’s pretty dark and most of the cameras are on a business or even inside a business. In the daytime you can see outside on most of them, but at nighttime you can’t see much.”

Boyce’s bicycle showed a single scuff mark from the accident. Police believe the offender’s vehicle will show little or no sign of damage. Ayling said the most important clue may come from a friend or family member of the motorist.

“I think somebody will have overheard someone talking or even spoken to their spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend that said they did it,” he said. “Hopefully their conscience will get to them and they’ll call us.”

The community hasn’t forgotten Boyce’s death. A memorial in the alleyway with flowers, pandas and a white “ghost bicycle” has expanded in the weeks after her death. It’s the spot where she briefly talked to police -- and asked for her husband -- before dying within sight of her house. Moran said the support means a lot to Boyce’s friends and family.

“I drive by it as many times as can,” he said. “It’s nice to see she’s still in people’s thoughts and the accident is still in people’s thoughts.”