Lead Investigated On Open Berrien County Case

By: Marcie Kobriger Email
By: Marcie Kobriger Email

12-year-old Steven Kraft vanished while walking two dogs near his Benton Township home in February 2001.

Tuesday the head of a Missouri Task Force investigating Michael Devlin said it is looking into a Kraft connection.

Michael Devlin was arrested in January after two kidnapped boys were found in his home, including a teen that would have been missing for four years.

Now a FBI task force is investigating whether Devlin is responsible for a number of kidnappings across the country, including the 2001 disappearance of 12-year-old Steven Kraft.

“They have done a travel time line of Devlin and they have put him in Michigan, West Michigan,” said Al DiBrito, FBI Agent.

He continued, “If you run the location of missing children, Steven Kraft is obviously a high profile case and that is how you make the connect.

The FBI says Devlin's family regularly vacationed at a Pentwater, Michigan home, and that his travels would have taken him through the Benton Township area.

There is a catch, Steven went missing in February, while, according to the FBI, the Devlin’s were typically in Pentwater during the summer.

Still Krafts sister, hopes the investigation will shed light on a dark situation.

“One minute you think that the worst has happened, and then you get glimmers of hope, as with the Missouri case that they are trying now,” Jodi Bopp, Kraft's sister said, “And you think maybe someone has him, or maybe he is still there.

Jodi was 18 when Steven disappeared, the same age he would be now.

She tells us the past six years have been difficult for the whole family, especially her parents.

Steven Kraft Sr., Kraft’s father said, “We have been through all kinds of stuff, I have searched about 100 some square miles of Berrien County, we have searched every inch of it we can get into.”

While search efforts and investigations have not turned up anything so far, police and Steven’s family say they welcome any attention.

Bopp said, “It keeps him in the back of peoples minds. It just keeps his face right there so if anyone does happen to see him, they can remember where they saw him.

The FBI and Benton Township Police say there is a possibility Devlin was traveling through Michigan at the time of Kraft’s disappearance.

They tell us they will continue to investigate until the lead has been completely exhausted.

The FBI is looking at four other open cases, which happened in Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri.

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