Jeffrey Willis’ cousin charged with obstructing murder investigation

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-20 22:30:44-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The cousin of accused killer and kidnapper Jeffrey Willis was charged Monday with obstruction of justice.

According to court documents, 47-year-old Kevin Bluhm is accused of lying during a police interview connected to the 2014 killing of Rebekah Bletsch.

Willis is charged with Bletsch’s murder as well as with the April kidnapping of a 16-year-old.  He's also considered a person of interest in the 2013 disappearance of Jessica Heeringa.

According to court documents, in an interview with Michigan State Police on May 18, Bluhm said he hadn't seen Willis for almost a year and never saw his .22 caliber handgun, the weapon allegedly used in Bletsch's murder.

In a second interview on June 14, Bluhm allegedly told police he had actually seen Willis in early May, and said that Willis showed him a .22 caliber pistol.

Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler says there is no indication that Bluhm was directly involved in any of his cousin's alleged crimes.

"There is no evidence or indication that he is involved directly in any way of the Bletsch homicide or anything to do with our ongoing interest with the Jessica Heeringa investigation," Roesler said.

Bluhm is a Sergeant at West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon, according to Michigan Department of Corrections Spokesman Chris Gautz.  He was suspended without pay Friday.

"That would give him insider knowledge so to speak of how the system works, but again, like any situation he is innocent until proven guilty," said Sheriff Roesler.

Willis was arrested May 17 in connection with the April kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl on West River Road.  He was charged with murder in the Bletsch case May 25.