Cousin of Jeffrey Willis charged with lying in Jessica Heeringa investigation

Posted at 1:57 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 16:29:03-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The cousin of accused killer and kidnapper Jeffrey Willis was charged again Tuesday for lying to police, this time for what police say he failed to disclose during their investigation into the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa.

Kevin Bluhm, 47, is charged with obstruction for allegedly lying to police about his knowledge of Willis' involvement in the abduction of Jessica Heeringa in April of 2013.

According to court records, Bluhm made statements to police he knew were false or misleading regarding facts relating to the investigation that he had no knowledge of Jeffrey Willis' involvement in Heeringa's abduction.

Heeringa, then 25, vanished from an Exxon Station in Norton Shores where she was working the late shift, alone.

On Monday, Bluhm was also charged for lying during a police interview connected to the 2014 killing of Rebekah Bletsch.

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 told FOX 17 on Monday there was no indication to suggest Bluhm was directly involved in any of his cousin's alleged crimes.

Willis was arrested in May and charged with attempting to kidnap a 16-year-old girl.  During the investigation of that case, Willis was charged with allegedly killing Rebekah Bletsch in 2014.

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