It’s just before 2 a.m. on July 5, 2013, as Kelly Boyce Hurlbert begins her bike ride home after spending the night working at North Peak Brewing Company.
“Especially at that time of year, they would take their bikes to and from work all the time just to not have to deal with the car and the traffic. And she would ride into town constantly instead of driving,” said Kelly’s sister Nicole.
But as she neared the end of her journey home along Washington Street, Kelly was hit.
“I got woke up to a phone call saying we needed to get up to Traverse. It was bad. We needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible,” recalled Nicole.
Kelly was dragged for more than a block, somehow entangled in the vehicle that hit her.
“They did everything they could and took her in. There was just nothing they could do. At first, it was a big shock, you know, to understand it. And when we first started getting the initial first couple of days, we thought it was just a horrific accident what happened and [we were] trying to understand it,” said Nicole.
Police were trying to do the same, as horrific witness descriptions of what happened emerged.
Investigators believe Kelly was hit from behind by a darker colored SUV or pick up.
Captain Keith Gillis now heads up the investigation.
“This was horrific I mean, just unbelievable that the individual that was driving this vehicle did not hear her when there were people, a witness, a block and a half away that could hear her screaming” said Gillis. “And you know what type of person would do that?”
Detectives and police have reviewed thousands of tips and potential leads in the case over the past decade, but still haven’t been able to make an arrest. Kelly’s family has also considered the possibility that what happened to her may not have been an accident.
“Maybe they didn’t know that they had done it. Even in the first few months, maybe somebody would come forward and say we didn’t realize. Maybe after the first few weeks, maybe they just didn’t realize they left the scene. But they’re going to turn themselves in. They’re going to come back and say ‘we did this,’ but we need to make it right. But there was all that hope in the beginning,” said Nicole. “As time went on, we just, I personally don’t feel that’s the case now, especially after all these years. I think it was intentional.”
In late June of 2023, Kelly’s family and Traverse City Police once again held a news conference. With the conference there was hope to bring in more tips, possibly the one that could help solve the case, after a decade of hoping and waiting.
“Some of the tips we’ve already eliminated, some of the tips have led us to tips that we’ve already worked on. But there are a few that are new information. And like I said, it’s time for some closure for the family and some justice. Also some closure for the officers that were involved that night and for the detectives that have been working on this case for the last ten years,” said Captain Gillis.
“Her life was cut short. I mean, she was just innocently riding home from work one night. And is there are others that this has happened to? I mean, it’s just not fair. She was taken way too soon from us.”
“She’s missed all these years that were taken from her and taken from us. Whoever did this shouldn’t be able to walk around and not have to pay for what they did and what they took from us,” said Nicole.
If you have any information on who hit and killed Kelly Boyce Hurlbert, contact the Traverse City Police Department at 231-995-5150
The FBI is also offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.