Taylor Manley, 15, spoke with her dad before he took off for work Tuesday night about her big day Wednesday.
She was supposed to be out of bed when he got home from an overnight shift and ready to go to court to testify. The teen planned to miss school that day to be the main witness against Raymond Bush, 38, who faced a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for a relationship with her.
When Robert Manley arrived at his Evart home in Osceola County around 7:30 a.m., his daughter was gone. He knew something was wrong and immediately called authorities, prompting an Amber Alert to be issued for the teen.
"She was afraid of him,"
Robert Manley said of Bush, who had Taylor's name tattooed near his lower neck. Taylor told her dad that Bush had threatened in the past that he would "do something" if she planned to testify.
Bush threatened Taylor about testifying and told her that he would rather run than face the charge, the girl's father said.
Now police are investigating whether Bush snatched Taylor out of her father's Osceola County home sometime early Wednesday and drove downstate, shooting her to death before turning a .22-caliber pistol on himself.
Glimpses into Bush's growing desperation emerged Thursday as police investigated the discovery of their bodies the day before in the St. Charles Cemetery on Dixie Highway in Newport in Monroe County. Michigan State Police said the bodies were in the back of a minivan parked near the graves of Bush's grandparents, who raised him.
Taylor's grandfather, Joseph Manley of Farwell, said investigators told the family that there were signs a door to the mobile home where she lived with her father in Evart had been pried open
, indicating she was abducted, and that several hours may have elapsed between her death and Bush's suicide.
Bush's worries had worsened as his day in court neared. He had fired an urgent barrage of text messages to Taylor in recent days, though they contained "nothing threatening," Ambrozaitis said. "It was mostly 'I love you.' 'Call me.' 'Text me.'"
That violated terms of his bond, which ordered Bush not to have contact with the girl.