LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that a missing woman investigation from earlier this week is now considered a homicide.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said Kelly McWhirter disappeared from her home in Flushing over the weekend following a confrontation with her husband Steven Higgins.
Law enforcement initially believed both McWhirter and Higgins were missing, with foul suspected, but evidence gathered during the search for the couple led investigators to believe Higgins was responsible for the disappearance and McWhirter was the sole victim.
Higgins, who is now the lead suspect in McWhirter’s homicide, was pulled over in Montrose Township early Wednesday morning. Before officers could speak with Higgins, he shot himself in the head and died after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Swanson announced on Thursday that the case is no longer a “rescue,” but a “recovery.”
Evidence found by the sheriff’s office after searching Higgins’ vehicle, a gray 2009 Ford F-150, includes landscaping tools, a body bag and a significant amount of blood.
Swanson said the couple’s home in Flushing had a bloody scene inside, as did McWhirter’s vehicle, a white 2022 Hyundai Tucson. Phone data collected by law enforcement showed that Higgins drove the Hyundai to Norwalk, Ohio and back to Flushing over the weekend.
“Higgins was very premeditated, but he was also reckless, and we’re hoping to cash-in on the reckless part of him,” Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said.
Swanson asked anyone who may have seen a white 2022 Hyundai Tucson or a gray 2009 Ford F-150 driving anywhere between Flushing and Ohio this past weekend, to contact law enforcement immediately.