Michigan Jogger Autopsy a Place to Start in Mystery Slaying

Investigators will also focus on people who knew Rebekah Bletsch.

ByABC News
July 2, 2014, 8:28 AM

— -- Autopsy results are among the pieces of evidence most likely to help Michigan authorizes understand the mysterious death of a jogger who was shot after initially appearing to be the victim of a hit-and-run.

“It’s so rare that you have a random shooting like this with all her valuables with her,” ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said, adding that cellphone and other electronic records will also be vital to the investigation.

“The fact that there was confusion between a hit-and-run and shooting; it could have been both. Someone trying to make her death look like something else,” he added.

Rebekah Bletsch, 36, was found Sunday along a quiet country road less than a mile from her home in Dalton Township, an 8,000-population township in the western part of the state. It's unclear when autopsy results will be released.

Investigators at first suspected a hit-and-run death until that they found additional evidence, including shell casings near Bletsch’s body, as well as a small bullet wound.

Michigan Jogger Shot to Death, Not Hit by Car

The wife and mother had been shot in the head, Dalton Township’s first homicide of the year. Bletsch was found with several valuables, officials said, making robbery an unlikely motive.

Michigan State Police are forming a task force with the Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death.

Bletsch’s husband was out of town with their 11-year-old daughter at the time of the shooting and is not considered a suspect. He is too traumatized to discuss his wife’s death.

His uncle Tim Donkin described Bletsch as vibrant, the kind of person who would always bring a smile to people’s faces.

“She was always willing to pitch in and help, always seemed to be concerned about others,” he said. “Becky was not just a person running down the road – she had a life.”

At this point, ABC’s Abrams said, investigators will focus on people who knew Bletsch, including her husband.

“In cases like this, the first person they look at is the romantic partner, in this case the husband,” Abrams said. “They will also look at whether he had a motive because he could have ordered someone to do it.

Then they will expand the search beyond him to others who knew her, or who had it out for her.”