NORTON SHORES, Mich. – Norton Shores Police are responding with more details regarding a friendship between an accused murderer and one of their police officers.
Norton Shores Police had acknowledged previously that one of their officers, Shawn Stefanich, was a friend of murder and kidnapping suspect Jeffrey Willis. Willis is accused of killing Rebekah Bletsch in 2014 and also of attempting to abduct a 16-year-old girl in April. He is also a person-of-interest in the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa in 2013.
Willis was arrested by Muskegon County Sheriff’s deputies on May 17 on the kidnapping attempt charges. According to the police department, Willis called and left a message for Officer Stefanich after Willis failed at getting in touch with his wife. Police say that Stefanich called Willis back, but he didn’t know that Willis was a suspect in the attempted abduction or the Bletsch murder. Police say that Stefanich assumed that Willis had been arrested for a domestic incident.
Police say that once Stefanich learned that Willis was charged with the abduction attempt and the murder that he has cut off all contact with Willis. The department says that Stefanich is deeply disturbed about the allegations against Willis.
Police had said earlier that they have been interviewing several people, including former classmates and co-workers of Willis to try and figure out if he is responsible for other crimes.
We’ll have more details when they become available.