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Tag Archive | "Silent Observer"

Thieves chop hair from horses’ tails


By Judy Reed

When Solon Township resident Emily Scott went to check on her horses on Tuesday morning about 9:45 a.m., she couldn’t believe what she saw—someone had chopped hunks out of two of her three horses’ tails.

“I saw them and thought what in the world happened to you guys?” she said.

Someone chopped the hair from the tails of these Solon Township horses. Courtesy photo.

“They just took big handfuls and chopped it off. The gelding has almost no hair left.”

She’s glad that whoever did it didn’t touch their third horse, a baby Tennessee Walker. “Her hair wasn’t long enough,” explained Scott.

She said with the wind and blowing snow, no tracks were visible, and they found no trace of the horsehair on the ground.  

“My horses are so nice. We raised them like dogs,” said Scott. “They are so loving, and love to be petted and wouldn’t have fought back.” 

Scott had a lot of things running through her mind. She wondered if she had made someone mad. And did they do anything else to harm the horses? But that was not the case.

Instead, she found out through some online articles that there is a market for horsehair, and found some stories similar to her own. Horsehair is used in crafts, hair extensions for horses, strings for musical instruments, and more.

While the horses weren’t physically injured, they will miss their tails. “It’s cruel,” she said. “The hair will take a long time to grow back and they need their tails to swat flies during the summer.” They had also been planning to start showing the horses this year.

Emily and her husband Chris called the Kent County Sheriff’s Office to their home on Albrecht, and a deputy took the report, but there aren’t currently any leads. If anyone has any information about this incident, please call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Vandals smash toilets, burn flag in sink at Skinner Field


This smashed toilet is just one of the many things destroyed in a break-in at the Skinner Field locker room over the weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Vandals struck again at Skinner Field last week, and this time it was not about stealing candy bars.

According to Shawn Kiphart, President of the Friends of Skinner Field, the concession stand and locker room were both targets recently in two different incidents. First was the concession stand, early last week. Kiphart said they dumped chemicals (cleaning supplies) on the floor, then put paper on it and tried to burn it. Then this past Sunday, they discovered the locker room had been broken into. And it was far more destructive.

Vandals burned a flag in the sink in the locker room. Courtesy photo.

According to Kiphart, the locker room has large steel doors that you cannot get into, so the suspect(s) broke out a small daylight window that sits about seven feet off the ground. Nothing appeared to be stolen, but the vandals smashed and destroyed toilets, urinals, 11 new first aid kits, showerheads, football equipment and more. Two of the toilets were brand new. They also burned a flag in the sink. 

“In years past, it was very obvious that the break-ins were more about mischief and kids getting in there to get candy,” remarked Kiphart. “But this was far more vicious. They were in there to destroy it.” 

More damage at Skinner Field. Courtesy photo.

Kiphart estimates the damage was $2,000 to $3,000.

The Friends of Skinner field Board and Cedar Youth Football League have set up a gofundme account to raise money for the repairs and losses they suffered from these latest break-ins, as well as to upgrade security and maintain the complex. Please visit their page at: 

https://www.gofundme.com/skinner-field-fund

If anyone has any information about this case, please contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345, or download the Silent Observer app for your phone, and use it to contact them. They will then pass on your tip to the Kent County Sheriff Department.

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Post story leads to suspects in Boomer Park break-in


By Judy Reed

Thanks to our readers, two suspects have been identified in the Boomer Park break-in we wrote about last week. 

Our story last week asked if you recognized the people in the surveillance photos that were suspects in a break-in that occurred at Boomer Park in Nelson Township, about 11 p.m. Monday evening, January 29. The field is located at 13440 Ritchie Avenue, just south of Becker, and is home to AYSO Soccer Region 902. 

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a tipster saw the information in our story, and called Silent Observer. The info was credible, and investigators located the two named individuals—two 16-year-olds, who have been referred to juvenile court.

It was a relief to those who head up the soccer organization. “AYSO Soccer Region 902 would like to graciously thank those who called in tips which led to those responsible,” said a spokesperson for the organization.

It was the fourth break-in in nine months, and this time there was also some vandalism. A spokesperson for AYSO had said they may now need to use the money they had put aside for scholarships to repair the vandalism. The scholarships are used to help players from lower income families with registration fees.

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Police seek suspects in break-in


By Judy Reed

Do you recognize the people in these surveillance photos? They are suspects in a break-in that occurred at Boomer Park in Nelson Township, about 11 p.m. Monday evening. The field is located at 13440 Ritchie Avenue, just south of Becker, and is home to AYSO Soccer Region 902.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, this is the fourth break-in in the last nine months.  They said the target appears to be the same as previous break-ins, however some vandalism occurred this time, which didn’t happen before.

According to an AYSO spokesperson, they may now need to use the money they had put aside for scholarships to repair the vandalism. The scholarships are used to help players from lower income families with registration fees.

If you have any information, please call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. 

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Missing teen found murdered


 

Mujey Dumbuya, an East Kentwood High School student, was last seen January 24 in Grand Rapids. Photo from Silent Observer.

Did you see this girl?

The body of a 16-year-old East Kentwood High School girl was found in Kalamazoo. On Sunday, January 28, 2018, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety found the body of Mujey Dumbuya, in the 800 block of N. Prairie Ave in a wooded area. Mujey was reported as a runaway on January 25 in Grand Rapids, and was last seen in the early morning hours of January 24. 

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is investigating her death as a homicide.

Mujey Dumbuya had on pink tennis shoes like this one, but one of them was missing.

Mujey was wearing a black Columbia jacket, white and pink T-shirt with a print of Cinderella’s face on the front, blue jeans, and pink Nike tennis shoes. Her right shoe was missing when she was found. 

If you have any information as to how Mujey got to Kalamazoo, who she was with, saw her between January 24-28, located her other shoe, or if you have any other information that can help police figure out the details of this very tragic homicide, call Grand Rapids Police at 616-456-3400, Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety at 517-337-8994,or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or go to silentobserver.org and submit a crime tip. You can also download the Silent Observer app to your cell phone.

 

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Police seek info in unarmed robbery


 

Police are seeking information on an unarmed robbery at the Circle K gas station, 4811 West River Dr., Comstock Park. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the robbery occurred just after 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 30. The suspect is described as a male, 5-feet 5-inches tall, wearing a light blue hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants. No weapon was seen. The suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information should contact the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Oakfield Township party store robbed


Zain’s Party Store, located at 10030 14 Mile Road in Oakfield Township, was robbed at gunpoint last Thursday, September 21.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the owner of the store reported that he was closing up for the night when the suspect entered the store, brandished a handgun, and demanded money.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, mid-30’s, 6-feet tall with an athletic build, some facial hair, and wearing a grey hoodie. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

Investigators are that the description of the suspect is similar to that of the one who robbed the Citgo gas station on West River Drive on September 10 but cannot confirm whether it is the same person. Both suspects are still at large.

Anyone with information is requested to call the Sheriff’s Department at 632-6100 or Silent Observer.

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Body found in woods in Newaygo County


D’Anthony Keenan’s dismembered body was found in the woods in the Crystal Trails area.

Anthony Shawn Blamer Jr.

The Newaygo County Sheriff Department has arrested a Fremont man after a dismembered body was found in the woods over the weekend.

According to police, they received a call at about 6:06 p.m. Saturday, August 5, about a possible body located in the woods of the Crystal Trails area between 20th and 28th Streets, in Sherman Township (between Fremont and White Cloud). The victim, a black male, was found deceased. He was later identified as a missing Muskegon man, D’Anthony Keenan, 24.

Police asked for help from anyone who had trail cameras in the area for footage between Friday, Aug. 4, and Saturday, Aug 5. They also asked for help locating a white 2007 Chevy Tahoe, with tinted windows, with license plate number HAYMER3.

Police arrested Anthony Shawn Blamer Jr. in the death on Monday, August 9. They developed him as a suspect after looking at Keenan’s Facebook activity and seeing that they planned to meet in North Muskegon.

Detectives said Blamer told them that an argument about money led to them fighting, and Keenan’s death. Blamer reportedly said that Keenan pulled a gun, which they struggled over in the Tahoe, and it went off multiple times, accidentally shooting the victim in the head.

Blamer reportedly drove the Tahoe to a carpool lot in Fremont and left it there, with Keenan’s body inside, and returned the next day with a chainsaw to dismember it, to make recognition harder.

The suspect also led investigators to the place in Oceana County where he left the bag containing Keenan’s head and hands, and the swamp where he tossed the chainsaw.

Blamer was arraigned on Tuesday, August 8, in the 78th District Court, in Newaygo on charges of dead body mutilation, failing to contact authorities about a dead person and being a habitual offender.

Newaygo officials believe that the death actually occurred in Muskegon County, and Muskegon Police have not yet charged Blamer.

Anyone with information related to this incident are asked to call 231-689-5288. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Silent Observer at 231-652-1121.

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Police seek robbery suspect


Sparta Police are looking for the suspect that robbed the Sparta Hometown Pharmacy, at 11 S. State  about 2:35 a.m. Friday morning, May 13.

Chief Andrew Milanowski said they are looking for a white male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches, 200 pounds.

The suspect entered the building by smashing out the front glass door. The alarm was activated and by the time police responded minutes later the suspect was already gone.

Surveillance video was made available, and the police are asking for help to identify the suspect.

Tips can be called into the Sparta Police Dispatch line at 616-887-7331 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345, they also maybe given on line at Silentobserver.org or the Sparta Police Department Facebook page @ WWW.facebook.com/spartamichiganpolice.

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Billboard campaign launched to generate new leads in 1993 cold case


N-Cold-Case-Van-Slyke-billboard

There is a new effort in an attempt to solve the 1993 murder of Kathleen Vanslyke.  The Kent Metro Cold Case Team has partnered with the Grand Rapids Police and Silent Observer to highlight the victim in their unsolved homicide billboard campaign. –

On July 23, 1993 at 3:30pm, Kathleen Vanslyke, a 45-year-old mother and wife, was shot at close range while she waited in her vehicle in a parking lot near Burton Street, SE, and Eastern Avenue, SE, in the City of Grand Rapids. After the shooting, Vanslyke’s car rolled backwards and collided with an adjacent building. The location was a busy area surrounded by businesses, including the former Old Kent Bank, Silver Derby Tavern, and Bucks.

In an effort to generate tips on this brutal murder, a billboard will highlight this victim for 30 days near the intersection of Burton Street SE, and Eastern Avenue SE, on November 2, 2015.

The family of Kathleen Vanslyke is supportive of the billboard campaign and hope, after 22 years, someone with information will come forward.

To see a photograph of Kathleen Vanslyke and crime scene photos, a Facebook page has been created called Kathleen Vanslyke 1993 cold case homicide.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or Kent Metro Cold Case Team at 616-632-6123.

The Kent Metro Cold Case Team consists of detectives from the Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff Department and the Grand Rapids Police Department.

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