Kelly McWhirter was last heard from on Saturday at her home in Flushing, Michigan. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said deputies believe McWhirter’s husband, Steven Higgins, killed her and dumped her remains in Michigan and Ohio. Anyone who saw anything suspicious with a white Hyundai Tucson or dark-colored Ford F-150 pickup truck between Saturday and Tuesday should call 810-257-3422. (Genesee County Sheriff’s Office)
Cops in Michigan are searching for the remains of a 60-year-old woman after a body bag was recovered in her now-dead husband’s truck, and a significant amount of blood was found in their home.
Kelly McWhirter was last heard from on Saturday and hasn’t been seen or heard from since, said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson at a press conference.
It started as a missing person’s case when McWhirter did not show up for work on Monday. Her husband, 57-year-old Steven Higgins, also was considered missing. But the missing persons case became a criminal investigation when deputies found blood and evidence of a cleanup in the couple’s home in Flushing. They believe McWhirter was a victim of domestic violence.
Higgins became a suspect. At around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, a citizen alerted deputies to the location of his vehicle. When deputies pulled him over, Higgins shot himself and was taken to the hospital, where he died, Swanson said.
Inside the truck bed was a body bag containing blood but no remains and gardening tools, including a shovel with fresh dirt.
“This is no longer a rescue. This is a recovery. This is a homicide investigation,” Swanson said on Thursday.
Deputies learned that on Saturday, Higgins drove his wife’s vehicle about 200 miles to visit a friend in Norwalk, Ohio, and returned on Sunday. The friend was interviewed but had no information about McWhirter’s whereabouts.
Investigators are keying in on routes between the two areas — along Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 23 — with the thought that he may have dumped her body either on the way down or the way back. They are also searching the Tall Timber Trail in the Prescott area of Ogemaw County, about 95 miles north of their home.
Local ABC affiliate WJRT reported the Sheriff’s Office received a tip on Thursday that Higgins visited a friend on Tall Timber Trail in the Prescott area of Ogemaw County between noon and 9 p.m. Tuesday and did some yard work.
“This office is not going to stop,” Swanson said. “I want to assure the family, the friends. I don’t care how long it takes. I don’t care where we have to go.”
McWhirter was a long-time secretary for the Sheriff’s Office. She retired but returned to work for the board of commissioner’s office. Swanson described McWhirter as a “beautiful soul.”
“We are as a family at the sheriff’s office very close to Kelly,” he said.” There’s people that have become not only co-workers but very dear friends, and it is earth-shattering.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious with a white Hyundai Tucson or dark-colored Ford F-150 pickup truck between Saturday and Tuesday should call 810-257-3422.
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