Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

July 17, 2013

Police receive hit-and-run assistance from the FBI

TRAVERSE CITY — Detectives investigating the hit-and-run death of a Traverse City bicyclist called in help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said 11 detectives — five Traverse City police and six Grand Traverse sheriff’s deputies — have met almost every morning since Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, was struck and killed by a motorist on July 5.

“We’ve been chasing tips 24 hours a day,” he said.

And they need help. Detectives are swamped with more than 350 tips and have reached out to both the Michigan State Police and FBI for help. Ayling recently met with FBI agents for advice on various approaches to the case.

“We ran through the whole investigation at that point looking for ideas and what they can offer us,” he said. “They came back (Tuesday) basically just to help.”

Ayling said investigators now “exclusively” use Michigan State Police-provided software to sort through an ever-growing number of tips.

“It helps a lot,” he said. “We’re able to go back and find a key word and a key name. So far, it’s been very helpful.”

Detectives also plan to check receipts from downtown bars and hotel check-in information, but not to develop leads at this point. Ayling said bars routinely keep receipts for two years.

“Right now the numbers are too big to utilize for information,” he said. “We’d have to go through thousands and thousands of (bar) receipts. We’ll be looking at it if we’re developing a suspect down the road.”

Police haven’t contacted local hotels specifically for the hit-and-run investigation, but do keep contact in other cases.

“When there’s someone in the area they’re looking for,” said Ron Robinson, director of operations for Summerside Properties, which manages Best Western, Cambria Suites and Comfort Inn on M-72. He said his hotels routinely take down vehicle information during check-in.

Ayling said detectives spend long hours on the case -- they planned to go to the 600 block of Washington Street today at about 2 a.m. to reconstruct the crash in circumstances similar to when it originally occurred. Witnesses reported seeing a dark pickup truck or SUV or a silver SUV.

Members of the public with information on the case can call detectives at 231-995-5152 or call the anonymous tips line at 231-947-8477.



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