KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Police investigating the homicide of a Grand Rapids teenager found dead in Kalamazoo hope her missing shoe could help solve the case.
On Wednesday, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety identified the victim as 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya.
She was last seen alive during the early morning hours of Jan. 24. Family said nothing was unusual about that morning. Her dad told 24 Hour News 8 that she said goodbye to her parents and left for school from their home in a complex south of Burton off of East Paris.
Her bus stop is down the street. Kalamazoo Public Safety is not saying whether she ever made it on the bus, but it is known she didn’t show up to East Kentwood High School.
Dumbuya was reported as a runaway the next day, according to KDPS, though family says she was not a runaway and that she was missing.
A pair of walkers discovered the teenager’s body in a wooded area near Blakeslee Street and Prairie Avenue in Kalamazoo’s West Douglas neighborhood Sunday, according to KDPS. A source close to the investigation told 24 Hour News 8 that the girl’s body did not appear to have been there for very long.
KDPS says Dumbuya was wearing a black Columbia jacket, white and pink T-shirt featuring a print of Cinderella’s face, blue jeans and a pink Nike tennis shoe. Investigators are looking for her right shoe.
KDPS Capt. Shannon Bagley said Wyoming and Grand Rapids police are helping in the investigation, but he wouldn’t comment on a suspect or possible motive in the homicide.
Anyone with information in this case is encouraged to contact Kalamazoo public safety officers at 269.337.8994 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.
Dumbuya was a student of East Kentwood High School. Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff notified parents, students and staff of her death in letters sent out Wednesday.
“Our District Crisis Team members are in the buildings to assist our students and staff as they work through this tragic situation. We are doing everything we can to support the family and their needs,” the message to staff read in part.
A GoFundMe account has been started to help cover funeral costs for Dumbuya.