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KDPS says evidence stacked up like Legos in Mujey Dumbuya death investigation

Mujey Dumbuya release photo.jpg
KDPS says evidence stacked up like Legos in Mujey Dumbuya death investigation.{ } (Contributed)

All of the evidence pieced together by detectives in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids paint the picture of a cold, calculator killer, who hired an accomplice to help kill the young girl who accused him of rape and dispose of her body.

Quinn James is charged with the abduction and murder of Mujey Dumbuya, 16, who accused him of rape last year.

A student at East Kentwood High School, Dumbuya was last seen headed to a bus stop in Grand Rapids on Jan. 24, her body was found in Kalamazoo four days later.

With a rented SUV and a hired accomplice, the allegations against James seem to suggest he took several steps to try to get away with killing Dumbuya.

"It was a road map," Captain Shannon Bagley, the leader of the Criminal Investigation Division at the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, said.

There was not one piece of evidence that made the case against James, Bagley said, who commended the hard work of investigators at KDPS and GRPD

“There’s a lot of rabbit holes that we went down and that Grand Rapids went down,” Bagley said. “There was some dogged determination, and we caught a few breaks.”

On a personal level, Bagley said, the most disturbing part of this case was circumstances surrounding the murder and the allegations the victim made months before her death.

Dumbuya was preparing to testify against her accused rapist at the time of her death. The defendant in that sexual assault cases, James, is now charged with Dumbuya’s murder.

"I just think the whole situation is very tragic. Really, words can't describe it, you know, sometimes it's hard get your mind wrapped around certain situations, and sometimes you never do,” said Balgey.

What makes this case so disturbing, also makes it unique. Investigators continue to emphasize how rarely a defendant in a sexual assault case is charged with murdering an alleged victim.

“You have to make an acknowledgement of, ‘Wow, this was maybe an anomaly, this doesn’t happen as often what may be portrayed on TV,’ but it’s something that is a possibility to happen,” said Bagley.

Speaking to other sexual assault survivors and future victims, Bagley said, “law enforcement is here to help you, we’re here to help and to do everything we can to protect you. This situation is extremely unique I would hope that it would never inhibit someone from coming forward.”