By KATIE McLAUGHLIN Court TV
According to the Department of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Heather Mae Kelley, 35, spoke to her children at around 10:20 p.m. on the evening of December 10, 2022. She told them she’d be home soon — it was the last time anyone heard from Mae.
Mae was believed to have been on her way to pick up a friend in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when she disappeared. According to the FBI’s website, evidence suggests Kelley may have been the victim of a homicide.
Mae’s burned-out vehicle was located the next day on a roadside. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller III announced that Mae’s car has been set on fire and Mae’s blood and hair were found in the vehicle. Mae’s clothing was found near the car as well. Her body has not been found.
According to Fuller, there is one person of interest in the case, but he’s currently jailed on unrelated charges. Fuller said that it is believed that the person of interest may have helped set Mae’s car ablaze and may have destroyed other evidence.
Although Fuller has not yet revealed the suspect’s identity, Kelley’s boyfriend was arrested four days after her disappearance for getting rid of a tether he was wearing as a condition of his federal parole. At the time, he was staying at a halfway house, concluding a federal sentence on a 2010 cocaine conviction that included a murder-for-hire plot. He is set to be released on April 26.
Authorities believe there’s a possibility that Mae could still be in the vicinity of where her car was found.
The FBI requested that anyone with information about the case call the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office at 269-383-8748, the Portage Department of Public Safety at 269-329-4567, or submit tips online at tips.fbi.gov.