The Kelly Boyce Hurlbert hit and run death remains unsolved 5 years after it occurred. Boyce was hit by a driver on Washington Street in the early hours of July 5, 2013. She was dragged down the street to the mouth of an alley on Railroad Avenue. The driver fled the scene.
People say that because Cherry Festival was on, it could literally be anyone, I don’t believe that’s true. There are few hotels in Grand Traverse County that aren’t located on the main strip. It doesn’t make much sense that a tourist would have traveled on Washington and traveled east in order to return to a hotel or campground. The beer tent at Cherry Festival closes at 11 p.m. The accident didn’t occur until sometime after 1 a.m. Most of the crowd would have cleared out of Cherry Festival by then. There are not a lot of late night establishments in Traverse City, but there are some. Even so, Airbnb wasn’t big back in 2013. Chances are, the people on Washington Street at 1 a.m., even in the busiest week of the year, would have been more likely to be locals than not.
So part of the problem with having a reputation for covering up offenses committed by those in local power is that you lose credibility when you say that you’ve done everything that you can in order to solve the crime. When you have a history of declining to investigate your own, and then you’re unable to solve a high profile case, it’s fair for us to question whether you’ve given it your best effort. Also, is the FBI taking over the investigation of the case, or did they just agree to put up a reward? The Traverse City police obviously aren’t getting the job done, so there would be nothing to lose by allowing the FBI to take over and start over.
Next, as to the assertion that the statute of limitations will end the investigation soon without charges, if the offender has a prior drunk driving history, they could still face manslaughter or even homicide charges after the six-year limit runs out. The police really shouldn’t give an ultimatum for when they’re going to stop trying to solve the case.
Perhaps there’s a lawmaker that wants to run with extending the statute of limitations in cases where a death occurs? Six years is inadequate in this case and cases like this. 15 or 20 seems far more appropriate. Perhaps the law change could help someone in the future.