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Man found dead with former Harrison girl faced sex charge in Clare County

Posted in Related Deaths
10-28-2010 Michigan:

A 15-year-old Clare County girl was remembered Thursday as a kind, caring girl who was in Mid Michigan Community College’s Students of Promise program before moving to Osceola County a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Newport man accused of killing Taylor E. Manley before killing himself Wednesday was out of jail on bond after being charged with having sex with the girl in July.

Christy McKinney of Clare said Manley was a friend of her son’s and often spent time at their home.

“She was a great kid,” McKinney said. “She was a very sweet girl.”

Tammy Alvaro, MMCC’s Students of Promise coordinator, said Manley was well known among students and that she was a sweet girl.

Alvaro saw Manley at MMCC’s Fall Festival and Barbecue recently and spoke to her about her plans for college in a few years, offering to help her in any way she could.

Alvaro received calls from students in the program who heard about Manley’s death Thursday.

She comforted the students.

“We’ll help them through it,” Alvaro said.

Clare County Sheriff John Wilson said Thursday that Raymond R. Bush was scheduled to appear in 80th District Court in Harrison Wednesday in Judge Joshua Farrell’s courtroom for a hearing to determine if there was sufficient evidence to be tried on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge against Taylor E. Manley, who was found dead with Bush in a van in a cemetery in Monroe County’s Newport.

Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said the hearing was set for 10:30 a.m.; she had spoken to Manley the day before and said her death is devastating.

Bush didn’t show for the hearing, where Manley was to testify, Wilson said.

Farrell issued a bench warrant after Bush failed to show up at the hearing, Wilson said.

Manley had until recently been a student at Harrison Community Schools and was living with her mother, Mary Beth St. Bernard, in the Dodge City area, Wilson said.

She left home about two weeks ago to stay with her father in Evart, the sheriff said.

State police troopers found Bush and Manley in a van in a cemetery in Newport, located in southeastern Michigan, Wednesday; Manley was shot in the chest, according to news reports.

Manley had been reported missing Wednesday morning, and state police issued an Amber Alert, indicating she had been kidnapped from the Reed City area.

State police also listed Bush as the suspect in the kidnapping, and troopers from the Reed City post notified the Clare County Sheriff’s Department immediately, Wilson said.

Wilson and victim advocates from his department were at St. Bernard’s home Thursday morning as state and national media converged on the community.

Grief counselors were also at Harrison Community Schools on Thursday to help students deal with Manley’s death, Wilson said.

Manley had been a student at Harrison, Farwell and Clare Pioneer High School, Wilson said.

Bush had befriended her family, the sheriff said.

“She looked up to him like a big brother,” Wilson said.

That apparently changed July 24 when Bush, who had Manley’s name tattooed on his neck, was arrested for third-degree criminal sexual conduct against Manley.

He was charged in September and had posted $50,000 bond, the sheriff said.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Manley’s death a homicide and said Bush died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bush and Taylor both died from .22-caliber gunshot wounds to the head, and Manley was also shot in the chest, the Associated Press reported.

Bush’s ex-girlfriend told police that he called her late Wednesday morning and said that he killed Manley and planned to kill himself, according to the AP.

Bush later stopped at the ex-girlfriend’s home in Newport, were she saw a young woman’s body in the van, State Police Detective Sgt. George Pratt told the AP.

Manley was staying with her father as a precaution prior to the court hearing.

Her father spoke to her by phone from work at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday but when he got home at about 8 a.m., she was gone, the AP reported.

Wilson said funeral arrangements for Manley are pending at Stocking Funeral Home in Harrison.

Donations to help the family can be sent to Stocking Funeral Home, 165 W. Oak St., Harrison, MI, 48625. ..Source.. by SUSAN FIELD, Clare Managing Editor

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