38 year old Carlos Watts Jr has been a suspect in Kelley’s case since the beginning, but prosecutor’s didn’t think they had enough evidence to charge him until now.
Kelley, a 35 year old mother of eight, went missing from her home in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the night of December 10, 2022.
Cell phone records and surveillance video from the night she went missing puts Kelley outside the club where Watts’ worked, and also shows a man believed to be Watts getting into Kelley’s car shortly after leaving work at 10:30 pm.
On December 11, 2022, her truck was found abandoned near the intersection of Sprinkle Road and East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township, Michigan, about three miles away from where she was last seen. Kelley’s blood and hair were found inside, and some of her clothing was found in a nearby field.
Her body has never been found.
An arraignment for Watts has not been set as he is still waiting to be sentenced on a separate federal charge. He faces the possibility of life without parole if convicted.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Heather Mae Kelley please contact the Kalamazoo County Central Dispatch at (269) 488-8911, or the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office at (269) 383-8748.
The Disappearance of Heather Kelley
At the time of her disappearance, Heather Kelley was living with her family in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is the mother of eight children.
On December 10, 2022, Heather Kelley left her home in Kalamazoo, Michigan around 9:00 p.m.
At 10:20 p.m, Heather spoke on the phone with her kids, saying she would be home shortly. She was last seen by a surveillance camera outside of a business in Comstock Township.
Heather Kelley never returned home that night and has never been heard from again.
On December 11, 2022, her truck was found abandoned near the intersection of Sprinkle Road and East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township, Michigan, about three miles away from where she was last seen.
A Michigan State Police helicopter spent multiple days searching over the wooded area near where Heather’s abandoned truck was found.
During a press conference on December 19, 2022, authorities announced that evidence found in Heather Kelley’s vehicle indicates foul play in her disappearance, and that a person of interest was being held on an unrelated charge.
Investigators have declined to elaborate further on what led them to believe foul play was involved, and emphasize that they’re still seeking tips from anyone who may have information regarding her disappearance.
On January 13, 2022, dive teams searched an area near Sprinkle Road, close to where Heather’s car was found abandoned back in December. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the search was for Kelley, following up on one of tips they’ve received.
The Sheriff’s Office also also confirmed that the person of interest in Heather’s case remains in custody.
On February 8, 2023, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office announced that Heather’s disappearance was being investigated as a homicide.
Person of Interest Identified as Heather’s Boyfriend
In February of 2023, the person of interest in Heather’s case was identified as her boyfriend, Carlos Watts Jr, who was on probation and left his home without permission the day after Heather went missing.
On the day Heather went missing he was working as a busboy at the Park Club, according to his GPS tether. The tether went dead around 9:30 pm that night.
According to court documents, he returned to his probation home around 2:45 am, with what witnesses recall as deep scratches on his chest and back.
Police later found clothing in a field about half a mile away from where Heather’s abandoned car was found, including a pair of jeans and a durag. Tests later determined that the jeans and durag had DNA from Heather and Watts.
According to authorities, Watts was interviewed on the night of Heather’s disappearance, and later cut off his tether and escaped through an emergency exit the next morning.
On December 14, 2022, Watts was arrested after a two hour standoff at a home in Battle Creek.
In January 2024, Watts was charged with murder. He could face a sentence of life in prison if convicted.