Unsolved Murders: Bobby Joe Thompson

Andrew Trzaska | December 7, 2010

Over 17 years after the death of Fruitport Township’s Bobby Joe Thompson, investigators are still waiting on “that one piece of evidence” to make an arrest in his homicide.

Thompson was last seen alive on Aug. 15, 1993.  He was reported missing by his family on September 22.  His body was discovered over two months later on Nov. 2, 1993 in Clinton County’s Eagle Township, which is northwest of Lansing.

A group of loggers working in the area found him wrapped in a sleeping back, wearing only a T-shirt.  He had been shot in the head and was found wearing only a T-shirt. He was wrapped up in a sleeping bag with his head covered by towels and a garbage bag.

Based on the evidence, those working on the crime from the Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police concluded that Thompson was shot by someone he knew.  The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office says that two men have remained suspects in the case, but neither has cooperated with authorities and there is not enough information to bring up charges on either one.

It was known that Thompson was gay, and there is belief that the person who shot him may have been romantically linked to him at one point.

As to where the crime took place, there has been some disagreement about how the slaying played out.  State Police in Lansing say that evidence points to Thompson being shot to death in Muskegon and relocated to Clinton Township. Others connected to the case believe he was killed elsewhere.

There is currently an $11,000 reward through Silent Observer for information leading to an arrest in the murder.  It was raised from $10,000 just a few days after a recent push by those close to the victim to get more information from the public.  The Sheriff’s Office stated in a conversation last week that no new information has come since that push.

Anyone with information about the murder of 25-year-old Bobby Joe Thompson is urged to call the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 724-6351 or Silent Observer at 231.72-CRIME.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst