Court docs: Pistol, disturbing photos found in abduction suspect’s van

Muskegon County
Muskegon County abduction suspect Jeffrey Willis 051816_215394

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Court documents revealed new information about what police found inside the van and home of a Muskegon County abduction suspect.

Jeffrey Thomas Willis is charged with felony kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon and felony firearm in connection to the April 16 abduction of a 16-year-old girl in Fruitland Township.

A search of Willis’ silver van uncovered two lock boxes. One of the lock boxes contained disturbing photos of females bound and gagged, handcuffs, chains, ropes, and syringes including one with a liquid, according to court documents.

The other lock box contained ammo and a .22-caliber pistol, but the serial number had been destroyed, court documents show.

“This was a vehicle designed to not only to kidnap but also take sexual advantage of women,” said Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson during Willis’ arraignment on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old victim told police that Willis lured her into his van with promises to let her use his cell phone, but then claimed it didn’t work.

She said knew she was in trouble when Willis locked the doors and drove in the opposite direction of where she told him she needed to go, according to court documents.

In an exclusive interview with 24 Hour News 8, she said she thought he was going to kill her so she unlocked her door and jumped out of his moving van. She said she ran to a nearby house and a woman there called 911.

Court documents show the victim was able to give police enough information to identify Willis and she picked him out of a photo lineup.

After searching Willis’ home on S. Sheridan Drive in Muskegon Township, police found a thumb drive with images of child pornography and video of a woman bound and gagged. It’s unclear who the woman was in the video or the identity of the women in the photos who were bound and gagged.

Hilson said investigators are following up on leads that may also connect Willis to the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa and murder of Rebekah Bletsch.

Willis’ bond was set at $1 million. His next court hearing is scheduled for May 26.

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