All five Traverse City Police detectives are working “around the clock” following up on leads in an attempt to find the vehicle and its driver who struck and killed biker Kelly Boyce Hurlbert in downtown Traverse City in the early morning hours of July 5.
Captain Mike Ayling, leading the investigation, tells The Ticker he and his fellow detectives “haven’t slept much” as they have prioritized this investigation above all other cases.
“We’re getting 10-12 tips and leads a day,” he says. “We had one tip in particular that was a good tip and we spent a fair amount of time on Sunday, but it’s starting to look like it might not be much.”
Ayling and his team meet throughout the day to sift through evidence and review the status of follow-ups on all tips, while officers continue to canvass the neighborhood, knocking on doors in search of a dark pickup truck or small SUV. Deputies from the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's office are also assisting on the case.
The accident occurred at 1:50am on July 5. Boyce was riding her bike home from work when she was struck from behind by a vehicle. She was dragged down Washington Street for more than a block and was later taken to Munson Hospital, where she died.
“We are operating under the assumption that it’s a local person who might live in that area or was taking someone home in the neighborhood,” Ayling says. “But it was July 4, so there were so many people in town.”
The tens of thousands of visitors – and their cars – in town over the holiday weekend are also complicating review of video footage from downtown cameras.
“We’re looking at them, but there were many, many cars over the course of several hours,” he adds.
Anyone in the area at that time or with any possible leads or information is being asked to call 231-995-5152.
Meanwhile a movement to reward anyone with information leading to an arrest is gaining steam. A group called “Friends of Quarter After Entertainment,” founded by supporters of the family, has pledged a $10,000 reward and others continue to step forward to add to the fund. Dollars are also being raised to help offset hospital and funeral costs. Organizers have created a web site, www.remembertolove.org, to collect funds (the name refers to something Kelly’s grandmother often said to her). To donate, visit the site or stop into any Traverse City State Bank branch.
A public memorial service is being planned at F&M Park, close to the site of the accident, for Thursday at 2pm. Organizers say the event will celebrate Kelly’s life and will include a memorial bike ride making a lap around downtown. Hundreds of bikers are expected to participate.