'Loved by everybody'

Police seek leads in homicide of GH nursing home therapist.
Becky Vargo
Jul 23, 2014

Three weeks after Rebekah “Becky” Bletsch was murdered while jogging, people are still wondering why someone so loved could end up dead.

“She was just a wonderful girl,” said Ruth Lewis, a former patient of Bletsch’s at Sanctuary at the Shore in Grand Haven. “I can’t believe somebody would do that to her.”

Bletsch, 36, was a contract employee at the local nursing home. The physical therapist worked there full-time for eight years.

“She was loved by everybody,” Administrator Nancy Ritchie said. “It’s been a tough time for our residents. It’s been a tough time for our staff.”

Bletsch died June 26 from multiple gunshots to the head. Police said she had been jogging and was found by passersby shortly after 6 that evening, lying alongside Automobile Road south of Riley-Thompson Road in Muskegon County’s Dalton Township, about three-quarters of a mile from her home.

Tips continue to trickle in, but police still do not have any major breaks in the case to share.

“We’re still working on it,” said Lt. Jim Christiansen, head detective for the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department. “We don’t have any specific suspects.”

Christiansen said members of a police task force working on the case continue to talk to people who knew Bletsch. Through their investigation — talking to witnesses and using cellphone records — police were able to narrow the time of death to about 6 p.m., he said. Bletsch was discovered and 911 was called at 6:11 p.m.

Christiansen said police do know what type of bullets were used in the killing, but cannot definitively say whether the bullets were from a handgun or a rifle.

“We’re definitely interested in any information anyone can provide us regarding her death,” he said.

A reward of more than $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Bletsch’s murder. Donations to the Rebekah Bletsch reward fund can be made at any branch of Community Shores Bank.

Tips may be called in to the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department detective bureau at 231-724-6658. Anonymous tips may be made by calling Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME, going online to www.silentobservermuskegon.com, or text “MKGTIP” plus your tip to 274637.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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