Authorities are now investigating the disappearance of Michigan mother Heather Mae Kelley as a homicide after officers found her truck burned out with blood evidence inside the vehicle, Kalamazoo Sheriff Richard Fuller announced in a press conference Wednesday.
Local officials previously said that Kelley, 35, was last seen on Dec. 10, 2022, in Kalamazoo. Her truck was found abandoned the next day, police said.
“Kelley told family she was on her way to pick up an acquaintance in downtown Kalamazoo and was last seen on 12/10/2022 at approximately 2130 hours,” NamUs wrote. “She has not been seen or heard from since and her vehicle was found abandoned in Comstock Township.”
She left home at about 9 p.m. on Dec. 10, according to a missing person notice previously posted by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office. She spoke to her children on the phone shortly at about 10:20 p.m., saying she would be home soon. She never returned.
“Her truck was found the next day abandoned,” they said. Authorities only described it as empty.
Now officials believe there was a homicide and there may be foul play involved. Fuller said they had a person of interest in custody regarding other crimes, but he declined to name this person.
Authorities have not recommended any charges to prosecutors in connection with this case, but Fuller claimed that records placed this person of interest and Kelley together before the disappearance. They were acquaintances of some sort, he said.
Fuller declined to discuss evidence in detail because of the ongoing case, but he noted that the person of interest likely had help, perhaps from one or more individuals. For example, one or more people may have helped burn the truck and destroy other evidence. Fuller declined to name the number of possible suspects involved.
Authorities previously asked that anyone with information on her disappearance or whereabouts call Kalamazoo County Central Dispatch 269-488-8911 or 911 if it is an emergency. Fuller said Wednesday that people can contact the Silent Observer tip line at (269) 343-2100.
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