MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Jeffrey Willis’ cousin, Kevin Bluhm, lied to police about both the Jessica Heeringa abduction and Rebekah Bletsch murder cases, prosecutors told 24 Hour News 8.
Bluhm, 47, was arraigned on one count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation on June 21.
Monday, Norton Shores Police Department Lt. Michael Kasher confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that during Bluhm’s interview in the Heeringa investigation, Bluhm told him a long story about how he helped “take care” of Heeringa.
“He was scared from it… He was forced to help Jeffery Willis take care of Ms. Heeringa,” Kasher told a judge in sworn testimony to obtain the warrant for Bluhm’s arrest, according to court records.
At the end of that story, Kasher told Bluhm his story wasn’t adding up. Bluhm then admitted the entire story was a lie and Kasher told him he would be charged with lying to police.
“He then, at the end of the investigation, said that he was lying about the account and he knows nothing about the missing person or that Jeffrey Willis was involved,” Kasher told the judge.
Kasher said Monday that police have no evidence to corroborate anything in Bluhm’s story about Heeringa.
“As for why he lied, I have no idea,” Kasher told 24 Hour News 8.
Muskegon Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Maat said he is confident that Bluhm lied but says he doesn’t know what of the story he told investigators, if anything, was true. That, he said, remains under investigation.
Heeringa, then 25, went missing from her job at the Exxon Mobile gas station on Sternberg Road in Norton Shores on the night of April 26, 2013. No one has been charged with abducting her, though police maintain that Willis is a person of interest in the investigation.
Willis has also been charged with the murder of Rebekah Bletsch, the attempted abduction of a Muskegon County teenager, possessing and making child pornography, and surveilling an unclothed person without their consent.