DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office is organizing a task force to investigate the department’s first homicide of the year after the shooting death of a local mother.
“Not only detectives, obviously, investigators from the sheriff’s office,” said Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler. “We have Michigan State Police, City of Muskegon, City of Whitehall.”
This comes less than a day after a couple found Rebekah Sue Bletsch along the side of the Automobile Rd. Sunday evening.
“A couple out driving that stretch of road came along the victim along the side of the road and every indication was it was a pedestrian or someone who had been struck by a vehicle,” Roesler said.
Sheriff Roesler says Bletsch, 36, is a wife and a mother of an 11-year-old daughter.
It wasn’t until investigators arrived on the scene, that shell casings were found.
“During resuscitation efforts my staff at the scene were policing the scene, so to speak, and discovered a shell casing at that time,” said Roesler.
More than one shell casing was found at the scene, but Roesler wouldn’t give the exact number.
“It’s a small-caliber,” Roesler said. “Probably a handgun, but it could’ve been a long gun.”
According to the sheriff, it was not uncommon for Bletsch to walk or jog Automobile Rd. She lived less than a mile from where her body was found.
Sheriff Roesler said Bletsch’s husband is not a suspect.
“We know that the husband and daughter were at a location out of county during that time,” Roesler said. “At this time, the spouse is not a suspect.”
Detectives continue to investigate how the shooting happened and who is responsible, including whether the incident was a crime of opportunity.
“There are several theories that we are just discussing,” said Roesler. “Her becoming a random victim of some crime of opportunity is one of them. I’m not saying that’s what this is.”
Roesler says it doesn’t appear robbery was the motive.
“There were some valuables in her possession that,obviously, had to have been target items,” Roesler said. “We believe [those] would have been stolen.”
Detectives will be going through her cell phone records to see who Bletsch may have been in contact with.
“One of the investigators is doing a cell phone record search, trying to develop a timeline of who she was in contact with,” Roesler said.
Bletsch worked as a physical therapist in Grand Haven.