Reese ‘person of interest’ in custody in connection with death of Midland woman

A person of interest is in custody in the Tuscola County Jail following the recent discovery of a body in Michigan’s northeast Lower Peninsula.

Victoria Jean Kilbourne, 74, a Midland resident and 1962 graduate of Vassar High School, was reported missing and possibly in danger on Monday, June 25.

On Sunday, the Midland Police Department announced that Kilbourne was found deceased and that a person of interest was in custody in connection with the death. On Tuesday, the MPD confirmed that Kilbourne’s death was a homicide. 

According to local authorities, the person of interest is 33-year-old Joel Brandon Wallace, a Reese resident who is on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry list.

Wallace, previously known as Joel Brandon Trump, was taken into custody Saturday by the Reese Police Department on unrelated charges. He was arraigned Tuesday in Tuscola County District Court on three counts of felon in possession of a firearm, three counts of possessing a firearm while committing a felony and driving while license suspended/revoked/denied.

He is lodged in the Tuscola County Jail on a $750,000 cash bond.

According to media reports, Kilbourne’s body was found on rural property near Onaway in Presque Isle County. She worked as a hairstylist at Mirror Image Salon in Midland.

Wallace was convicted of criminal sexual conduct – assault with intent to commit sexual penetration in February 2004 in Tuscola County. Wallace is scheduled for a preliminary exam on the Tuscola County charges, which are unrelated to the Kilbourne homicide investigation, at 8:30 a.m. on July 16.

When contacted by The Advertiser on Tuesday, an MPD official said the department had no additional information on Kilbourne’s death. Wallace has not been charged with any crimes in connection with Kilbourne’s death and the investigation is ongoing, the official said.

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