Seeking Justice for Heather Kelley
December 10, 2023

One-Year Commemoration:  Seeking Justice for Heather Kelley


City of Portage News Release:

December 10, 2023, marks the solemn first anniversary since the disappearance of Heather Kelley. The community continues to mourn this tragic loss and stands in solidarity with her family and loved ones affected by this heart-wrenching event. Heather Kelley, 35, whose sudden vanishing shocked our city a year ago, remains a poignant reminder of the urgent need for justice in our society. Despite exhaustive efforts and collaborative endeavors by numerous law enforcement agencies, dedicated volunteers, and the unwavering support of our community, answers still elude us in this case.

Heather Kelley left her home in Portage, Michigan on December 10, 2022, at approximately 9 p.m., driving a white 2015 Toyota Venza. Ms. Kelley, a mother of eight children ranging in ages from 6 to 18, was last seen at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sprinkle Road in the City of Kalamazoo. On December 11, 2022, at approximately 7 p.m., Ms. Kelley’s Toyota Venza was recovered parked and on fire along the side of the road in the area of East Michigan Avenue and Sprinkle Road, within the jurisdiction of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Department.

Facts and circumstances surrounding the whereabouts of Ms. Kelley and the recovery of her vehicle led investigators to determine that Ms. Kelley was the unfortunate victim of a homicide. As of now, Ms. Kelley or her remains have not yet been found.

Through the course of this investigation, it was determined that at the time of her disappearance, Heather Kelley was with her boyfriend Carlos Vance Watts, a 35-year-old Kalamazoo resident. Mr. Watts was identified as a person of interest in the disappearance of Heather Kelley and is currently in federal custody on unrelated charges.

The passing of one year brings into sharp focus the importance of perseverance, empathy, and the tireless pursuit of truth. As we honor the memory of Heather, we renew our commitment to aiding the investigation and ensuring that those responsible for this heinous crime are brought to justice.

The Portage Department of Public Safety along with our county, state, and federal partners reiterate our determination to exhaust every lead and explore all avenues to uncover the truth. We implore anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to come forward and assist in the ongoing investigation. The FBI continues to offer a reward of up to $20,000, along with a $5,000 reward from Silent Observer, for information that leads to the location of Heather Kelley.

Today, we not only remember Heather but also highlight the resilience and unity of our community in the face of adversity. Let us stand together, united in seeking closure and justice for Heather and her grieving family.

While law enforcement continues to be in contact with the family, a representative for the family has asked that members of the media and the public please respect their privacy. Our hearts and thoughts remain with the family and friends of Heather Kelley as we continue to pursue answers and justice in this deeply tragic and unresolved case.

Information can always be provided anonymously through the Kalamazoo Silent Observer tip line at 269-343-2100, the “P3Tips” app, or online through this website.

Site Image

Detectives Seeking Info in Hit & Run Fatality
October 14, 2023

Detectives Seeking Information in Hit & Run Fatality

On Saturday, October 14, 2023, at about 4:44 a.m., Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers responded to the report of a subject down along the 1600 block of Riverview Drive.  Officers located Marian Lee Phillips, a 32-year-old female resident of Kalamazoo, lying in the road without a pulse.  Officers and paramedics began life saving efforts.  Although Ms. Phillips was immediately transported to an area hospital, she succumbed to her injuries a short time later.    

The Crime Lab responded to process the scene along with Detectives to investigate.  The investigation has shown that Ms. Phillips was walking southbound on Riverview Drive pulling a red Radial Flyer wagon.  Ms. Phillips was struck by a passing vehicle during heavy rains on a dark night.  The vehicle did not stop and may not have known they hit a person.  However, they would have known they hit something. 

This investigation remains open, and Detectives are actively working the case.  We are asking anyone with information about this incident or any other criminal activity to call the Criminal Investigation Division at 269-337-8139 to speak with a Detective.  Information can also be provided anonymously through the Kalamazoo Silent Observer tip line at 269-343-2100, the “P3Tips” app, or online through this website.

Site Image

Homicide Victims Identified
August 28, 2023

Date: August 28, 2023
Address: 150 E. Crosstown Pkwy., Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Contact: KDPS Criminal Investigation Division 269-337-8139
Kalamazoo Public Safety Investigates Suspicious Deaths

UPDATE: Victims Identified

On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at about 7:30 p.m., Officers, who responded to a report of  a suspicious death, located two bodies. Detectives and the Crime Lab responded to investigate this matter as a homicide. A search warrant was executed over the course of three days to gather all of the evidence from the property. The bodies were taken to the Medical Examiner’s office at WMED for a postmortem examination.

The victims have been identified as Tarra Dametria Mayes, a 46-year-old female, and Alfred Oneal Simpson, a 67-year-old male. Both were residents of Kalamazoo. The killing of Ms. Mayes and Mr. Simpson remains an open and active investigation.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information about these homicides to call the Criminal Investigation Division at 269-337-8139. Witnesses can also provide information anonymously through Silent Observer by calling 269-343-2100 or online through this website.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety wishes to extend its sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Ms. Mayes and Mr. Simpson.

By authority of:

Capt. Rafael Diaz
Criminal Investigation Division

Reward For Help In Solving Vandalism
May 09, 2023




Reward Amount Increased!


Date: May 9, 2023


Address: Village of Paw Paw, Boat launch at Sunset Park off of M-40 Maple Island Park off of M-40.


Contact: Detective Lt. Eric Rottman 269-657-5501

Complaint: 22-01728 / 23-00813

Paw Paw, Michigan:


On August 26, 2022 the Paw Paw Police Department received a report from the Paw Paw Department of Public Works in reference to the park bathrooms on Maple Island being completely destroyed. Damage to both the men's and women's bathrooms were extensive. Damage was estimated to be approximately $15,000.00. On April 29, 2023 the Police Department responded to another call reporting damage to both the bathroom and picnic tables at the Sunset Park Boat lunch area and Maple Island off M-40.


Paw Paw Police are asking the public for assistance with any information related to either incident.


If you have information on either of these two cases, you are asked to call Kalamazoo Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 or Paw Paw Police Department at 269-657-5501. Tips can also be submitted through this website or the free app: P3Tips.


A $2,000.00 REWARD is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects involved in this incident.

Site Image

Homicide of David Shayne Postawa
May 03, 2023



Updated:  April 24, 2023


Date: Sunday, August 28, 2022

Address:  150 E. Crosstown Pkwy. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Contact:  Captain Rafael Diaz, Criminal Investigation Division, 269-337-8139

Kalamazoo, MI:

On 08/29/2022, officers from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety responded to the area of Lake St & Mills St on the report of an individual that had been shot.  The victim, who was identified as David Shayne Postawa, was transported to Bronson Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety are asking for assistance with any information related to this incident. 

If you have any information on this homicide, you are asked to call Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100 or the Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety at (269) 337-8139.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously through this website or the free app:  P3Tips.

Site Image

Homicide of Thomas Anders
July 22, 2022


Thomas Anders was murdered on July 22, 2017. He had just turned 21 the month prior.  Known as 'Tommy' or 'Tom Tom' to those closest to him, Anders was an only child and a graduate of Gull Lake High School. He had attended Western Michigan University for one year.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said Anders was shot and killed while attending a party on Oakland Drive in Kalamazoo.  His body was found in the street with a gunshot wound to his torso.  They had named a person of interest within days of the deadly shooting and have interviewed many people since then, but no one has been charged in his death.

“People who have information are not coming forward and being cooperative," KDPS Lieutenant Mike Treu said in a phone call with News Channel 3. "We as the police can only do so much. The people who were there that have information don’t want to come forward. We’ve run down all of information we have.”

Anyone with information should contact the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at (269) 337-8120 or Kalamazoo Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.  Anonymous tips can also be submitted through this website or the free app:  P3Tips.


Site Image

Help Needed to Solve Homicide
July 25, 2021

Date Reported: July 25, 2021

Location Occurred: 2220 Gull Road, Kalamazoo. Michigan
Incident Summary: On July 25, 2021 at approximately 0205 hours, officers from the Township of Kalamazoo Police Department were called to the area of 2220 Gull Road for multiple reports of gunshots heard in the area. A 16 year old victim, Suniya Brooks, was located on the ground with a fatal gunshot wound. Brooks succumbed to her injury.
The family of Suniya and the Township of Kalamazoo Police Department are seeking any information the public may have regarding this homicide investigation.
Silent Observer is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person(s) involved in this incident. You are asked to call Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100 or the Township of Kalamazoo Police Department at (269) 488-8911. You can also submit an anonymous tip online through or the free app: P3Tips.
Site Image

Information Sought in Big Bear Products Break-In
September 05, 2014


October 17, 2014 – Paw Paw, Michigan

 Sometime between 8/28/14 and 9/1/14, Big Bear Products, located at 32053 E. Red Arrow Highway in Paw Paw, was the victim of a B&E in which a safe and firearms were stolen.  The owners of Big Bear Products have pledged a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s).

Officers from MSP - Paw Paw are investigating the break-in and are asking citizens with any information to please contact them with that information.  Tips can be called in directly to Detective/Sergeant Conklin at 269-657-5551 or to Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.  Tips can also be submitted online at

Site Image

Suspicious Death of Terecita Rene Smith
April 16, 2009

On April 16, 2009, a stranded motorist reported a possible body in the grassy area near the guard rail on the southbound US-131 Business Loop, just north of the Douglas Avenue exit.  Responding officers located the body of what appeared to be an African-American.  At that time, age and sex were unable to be determined. 


An autopsy on the victim was performed at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing on April 17.  Preliminary results did not determine the cause or manner of death.  The pathologist is continuing the investigation to determine the cause.  The victim, who was identified as Terecita Rene Smith, 24, of Kalamazoo, was identified by a fingerprint.  It is believed that Ms. Smith died at least a few days prior to her body being discovered on Thursday evening, April 16, 2009. 


Kalamazoo Township Police are asking that anyone who saw or spoke with Ms. Smith between March 19 and April 16, 2009, or saw anyone near where the body was found, to contact KTPD detectives at 343-0568, or Silent Observer at 343-2100 or  Silent Observer offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of crime.

Site Image

Homicide of Peggy Jean Woods
November 07, 2008



Victim:            Peggy Jean Woods

                        Black female, age 28

                        5’4,” 130 pounds

Black hair and brown eyes


Location:        5900 block East “Y” Avenue


Date:               8-28-95


Agency:           Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office



Peggy Woods was found deceased in a cornfield in Brady Township on 8/25/95.  Peggy lived in the city of Kalamazoo prior to the Homicide, and was last seen on 8/25/95 at 9:00 pm. 

Anyone with information on the murder of Peggy Jean Woods is asked to contact the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s office at 269-383-8723 or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 or 

Site Image

Page 1 of 211 RecordsPrev | Next