By David Fleet
Atlas Twp.- Earlier this week, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson reached out to the community regarding progress in now nearly a month old unsolved township murder.
“We are going to solve this case,” said Swanson. “I know that people in the area are concerned about what’s happening, and that is totally understandable. I can tell you this is not a random murder but, an isolated event. It is unsettling, but we have a number of leads in the case. I’d like to tell you we a have suspect in custody, but it’s still in the works.”
At about noon, Sunday July 11, Genesee County Deputies responded to a report of a suspicious death near the 5100 block of South Vassar near Jordan roads.
At about 11 p.m., July 10, the victim Jesse James Byars, 34, left Outdoor Adventures, 4392 Davison Road in Richfield Township, drove southbound on Vassar Road near the Maple and Jordan roads area of the township. Sometime between 11 p.m., July 10 and noon July 11 Byars died. He was driving a green Dodge pickup truck with a red and white ORV in the bed of the truck.
Byars who had a Flint address, but living in the township, was found dead in a wooded area near Vassar Road, where there did not appear to be a struggle, according to Swanson. He was shot and nothing appeared to be stolen from the crime scene. The family of Byars, said he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and had a learning disability.
“We are using science and technology,” said Swanson. “Make sure that you just live your life and always use caution, that the case anywhere. We are working it diligently to solve this crime.”
Genesee County Sheriff’s Detectives along with the Michigan State Crime Lab and the FBI are assisting with the investigation.
“We are looking for some kind of broken relationship,” said Swanson, with regard to Byars. “Whether it’s an immediate relationship or revenge over a long period of time let us know. There was no struggle on scene, so we know that whoever was there (with Byars) was there without any kind of confrontation.”
“Rest assured we will find who is responsible and get answers. I need your help.”
Anyone with information regarding the death of Byars, call the sheriff’s office (810) 257-3422 or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers of Flint and Genesee County at 1-800-422-5245, on the P3Tips mobile app or online at CrimeStoppersof Flint.com.