The Tip From True Crime Diary

Date Published 04.18.07
On March 1 True Crime Diary posted a story about Michael Devlin, the Missouri man who was arrested in January for abducting two boys four years apart. We suggested Devlin might be linked to the disappearance of Steven Kraft, 12, who vanished from Benton Harbor, Michigan in 2001. Devlin’s family had a summer cottage on Lake Michigan. Steven closely resembles Devlin’s other two known victims. The circumstances of Steven’s disappearance are similar to Devlin’s MO.

Now it looks like Missouri authorities agree. Back in March we called Benton Harbor police and alerted them to the possibility that Devlin might be involved in Steven’s case. They expressed interest and thanked us, but we never heard anything more from them. Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an update on Devlin’s case and quoted Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Nothum, a member of the task force looking into Devlin’s involvement in other missing child cases:
Nothum said the task force has eliminated two of six missing child cases and added another one of a boy missing from Benton Harbor, Mich., in 2001. Nothum said Devlin’s family once had property in Michigan and that Devlin was known to go back up there periodically.
UPDATE, April 23

Another news report about the possible connection between Michael Devlin and missing child Steven Kraft, this one from WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Investigators want to know if accused kidnapper Michael Devlin had anything to do with the disappearance of a Michigan boy. The disappearance of 12-year old Steven Kraft was a high profile case back in 2001. You can still find flyers with his picture on it. He would now be 18-years old. Now, investigators are asking for your help. They say Michael Devlin, who's accused of kidnapping two boys in Missouri, may have been headed to the Pentwater area around the time of Steven Kraft's disappearance.

In Benton Harbor, Steven Kraft's older sister says, "One minute you think that the worst has happened, then the next minute you get a glimmer of hope", says Jodi Bopp.

It's been 6 years since Bopp has seen her 12-year old brother. He disappeared from their Benton Township home in 2001 when he was outside with his dogs.

Steven Kraft Sr. says, "We've been through all kinds of stuff. We searched every inch of Berrien County."

The Kraft family had accepted the possibility that the case may never be solved. This week, all that changed during a press conference about Michael Devlin. Sgt. Al Nothum of the Missouri Highway Patrol says, "We want to talk to anyone who knows about his travels to Michigan."

Michael Devlin is accused of kidnapping two boys and holding one of them for over four years at his home in Missouri. Now, investigators are looking at the possible connection to Steven Kraft. They say the Devlin family had a cottage on Lake Michigan, in Pentwater. The route from St. Louis, would have taken Devlin right through Benton Township, where Kraft disappeared from. Investigators say the Devlin family typically visited in the summer, but Michael was known to take trips in February.

Sgt. Nothum says, "We don't know for sure what vehicle. But, anyone with information. We want to talk to you." Devlin might have been driving a 1983 Silver and Gray Toyota pick up truck, with a white stripe and gray camper top.

The Kraft family says they appreciate any new information that might help investigators find Steven or help solve the case.

The task force that was formed to look into these possible cases wants any information, big or small. You can contact them at 636-239-7496.

The Feed

RT @emilynussbaum: The artful @hodgman's straightforward case for Hillary:
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Know what he does believe in? PAC $. Took 10K from HRC pac 2006. That means he's in her pocket.#BSLogic
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Good one. Unfortunately Bernie on record as not believing in charity.
@johnlevenstein Thanks for asking, btw. That's the kind of elevated discourse missing lately. A lot of mud slinging. #I'mNotAboveItEither
@johnlevenstein Can't convey it all thru Twitter but yes, she has flaws. Too poll-driven, burned needed bridges, trouble owning mistakes.