May 29, 2016
On Sunday, June 29, 2014 a passer-by found the body of 36-year-old Rebekah “Becky” Bletsch on the side of Automobile Road in Muskegon County, Michigan. Becky was less than a mile from her home and found along her usual jogging route.
Originally thought to be the victim of a hit and run, investigators discovered that Becky had actually been shot three times in the back of the head.
On May 25, 2016 a Muskegon County prosecutor, surrounded by law enforcement officials and in front of members of Becky’s family, announced the arrest of Jeffery Thomas Willis, 46, for the murder of Becky Bletsch.
Becky Bletsch lived in the Muskegon area for 18 years and worked at a nursing home as an Assistant Occupational Therapist. She enjoyed jogging and coaching the Reeths-Puffer Middle School girls basketball team.
The Bletsch family described Becky as the “life of the party” and a role model to those that knew her. Becky Bletsch was also a friend, daughter, sister, wife and mother.
Many people were devastated by her murder and have held out hope that justice and answers would one day come. Becky’s sister said, “You wait almost two years for that phone call, when you get it, you are just lost…”.
“It’s been a rough couple years, but we’ve had our faith and trust in law enforcement and they haven’t let us down,” said Becky’s father. In fact, law enforcement appears to be able to connect Willis with other terrifying crimes in the area. In April, Willis was arrested for abducting a 16-year-old girl. That victim jumped from Willis’ moving car to escape him and his intentions.
When detectives searched Willis’ van in connection to the abduction case, they found a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun and ammunition. Ballistics matched the gun to casings found at the scene of Becky Bletsch’s murder scene. Willis is also a person of interest in the disappearance of 25-year old Jessica Heeringa.
When reached by Project Cold Case, Becky’s family offered appreciation for the organizations support and continued prayers for other families still seeking resolution.
If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.