Cold case probe continues

Kelly Ann Boyce, right, poses with her sister Nicole Nostrandt, on Boyce's 2012 wedding day.

TRAVERSE CITY — Friday marks the sixth anniversary of the death of Kelly Ann Boyce, who died after being struck by a vehicle while riding her bicycle.

It’s a case that remains unsolved, has no suspects, no leads and very little evidence.

Boyce, who was 29, was struck as she rode her bicycle home on Washington Street at about 2 a.m. July 5, 2013. A witness who heard Boyce’s screams as she was dragged along the street described the vehicle as a dark SUV or pickup truck.

The vehicle drove off, leaving Boyce in an alley. She died a short time later at Munson Medical Center.

Captain Jim Bussell of the Traverse City Police Department has worked on the Boyce case from the beginning.

“We would very much like to solve this case,” Bussell said. “It has been a priority for us pretty much through the last six years. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot to go on from the beginning.”

The investigation remains open and the department continues to occasionally get tips. They’re still looking at evidence and are pursuing new angles using forensic technology, he said.

Bussell said the department is not concerned about time running out.

“There are other crimes that could be brought that would be within the statute of limitations,” Bussell said.

The statute of limitations is generally six years, though some crimes go beyond that, said 86th District Court Judge Bob Cooney, who was Grand Traverse County prosecutor when Boyce was killed.

“This is one of the most extensively investigated cases I have ever worked on,” Cooney said.

“The Traverse City Police investigated literally hundreds of tips. They dug into several different leads they had at one time or another. We issued several subpoenas. We tried to assist in whatever way we could to bring closure to the case.”

As time goes by, it makes a difference in what kind of charges could be brought, he said.

If an investigation shows the accident didn’t involve the influence of drugs or alcohol, the perpetrator could be charged with a five-year felony for leaving the scene of an accident causing severe injuries, he said. Another charge, leaving the scene of an accident causing death, is a 15-year felony.

There are also drunken driving causing death or manslaughter charges and different levels of murder, he said.

All of the charges have varying statutes of limitations, he said.

Cooney said there were a few cold cases in the prosecutor’s office that he would take another look at every now and then, sometimes with success.

“It does happen,” Cooney said. “With cold cases you do your best. Sometimes you go back after a while and try to look at it with fresh eyes. Unfortunately, sometimes crimes go unsolved.”