Jogger’s death: ‘Worst imaginable evil”


DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Three days after Rebekah Bletsch was shot and killed while jogging near her home, her father is trying to grasp what happened and is asking for the public’s help.

“It’s the worst imaginable evil that could be visited upon anybody, pure and simple,” her father, Nicholas Winberg, told 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday. “Evil in its worst form.”

It happened Sunday evening on a quiet stretch of Automobile Road in Dalton Township, not far from where Rebekah Bletsch lived with her husband and 11-year-old daughter, Elli.

Her father said he knows of no enemies.

“That’s a dead-end in my mind,” Winberg said, adding that it would have to be a random crime.

Bletsch, 36, was jogging alone, as she often did.

Muskegon County deputies at first thought she was the victim of a hit-and-run, until they found a single bullet wound in her head. They said more than one shot was fired.

Deputies were awaiting autopsy results to determine how far away the shooter was at the time.

Bletsch’s father said he can’t even begin to fathom it.

“There’s anger there, there had to be some anger, you know,” he said. “What prompted the incident? Why? “In a situation like this, your mind goes a lot of different places; you wonder this, you wonder that.”

Sheriff’s detectives said Bletsch’s husband, Kevin, was outside the county with their daughter at the time, with what they called a “rock-solid alibi.”

“They had a loving marriage, solid,” her father said. “She was a great wife, a great mother, great daughter. He’s a great son-in-law. Him and his family are the best. I couldn’t ask for a nicer son-in-law.”

Muskegon County Undersheriff Daniel Stout said a task force is pursuing leads, though he wouldn’t go into detail.

“We’re just hoping we get that break in the case for this senseless, stupid crime that was committed,” Stout said.

A $2,500 reward is being offered.

“Please come forward,” Bletsch’s father said. “Say something. We need to get to the bottom of this.”

Bletsch worked as an assistant occupational therapist at Sanctuary at the Shore in Grand Haven and coached middle school girls’ basketball at Muskegon Reeths-Puffer.

“She had just what it would appear to be an ideal life, loving daughter, loving wife,” her father said. “She was outgoing, she wasn’t introverted, she had love for others, each and every day for people.”

Funeral services will be held on Saturday 12 p.m. at Lee Chapel in Muskegon.

The family is asking any contributions go to their daughter’s upcoming middle school band trip to Disney World.

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office at 231.724.6351 or contact Silent Observer by calling 231.72.CRIME or by texting 274637 to CRIMES. Tips can also be emailed to Silent Observer..

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