Man accused of lying in Jessica Heeringa case heading to trial

Posted at 2:10 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 14:17:05-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP/WXMI) — A man accused of lying to police investigating the 2013 disappearance of Jessica Heeringa is heading to trial.

Kevin Bluhm, 47, waived his preliminary examination Tuesday.  He’s charged with lying to police during a violent crime investigation.

Bluhm is the cousin of Jeffrey Willis, who is charged with abducting a 16-year-old girl in April and the 2014 slaying of 36-year-old jogger Rebekah Bletsch in Dalton Township. Last month, Bluhm waived a preliminary examination on a charge of lying to police in the Bletsch case.

Willis is a person of interest in the 2013 disappearance of Heeringa, who was working as a gas station clerk in Norton Shores when she disappeared. Authorities say Bluhm told police Willis was responsible, but later told police he made it up.

Willis has not been charged in Heeringa’s disappearance.  Heeringa has not been found.

A Michigan State Police incident report written in May 2016 explicitly states, “Investigators believe Jessica was murdered by Jeffrey Willis, but her body has not been located to date.” The report was written days after Willis’ arrest for the attempted kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl in northern Muskegon County.  FOX 17 obtained the report from Michigan State Police through the Freedom of Information Act in July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.