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Published: Thursday, 10/28/2010

Monroe County woman said man admitted to her he killed 15-year-old girl

NEWPORT, Mich. — A Frenchtown Township woman said Raymond Bush admitted to her that he had killed 15-year-old Taylor Manley about six hours before they were found dead in Mr. Bush's minivan in St. Charles Cemetery on North Dixie Highway.

Teri Nunn, who is the mother of Mr. Bush's 11-year-old son, said he called her from his cell phone about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday. She said he confessed to shooting Taylor in the chest and head while they were driving to Monroe County from her Reed City, Mich. home, more than 170 miles away.

"He said he shot her in the heart but it didn't kill her. He said he didn't want to see her suffer so he went back and shot her in the head," Ms. Nunn said.

Teri Nunn, of Monroe, Michigan, says Raymond Bush dropped off a few bags of clothing, tools and miscellaneous items on Wednesday. When she went up to his car, she says she saw Taylor's body wrapped in a blanket in his car. Teri Nunn, of Monroe, Michigan, says Raymond Bush dropped off a few bags of clothing, tools and miscellaneous items on Wednesday. When she went up to his car, she says she saw Taylor's body wrapped in a blanket in his car.

Ms. Nunn said she called authorities to alert them to the crime and police detectives went to her workplace, where they interviewed her about what Mr. Bush had told her.

Taylor Eileen Manley was the subject of an Amber Alert Wednesday, and it was feared she had been abducted by Mr. Bush, 38, who was living in Newport.

On Wednesday, a charge of aggravated stalking was filed against Mr. Bush and involving Taylor in Osceola County District Court, records show.

Lt. Mary Kapp of the Michigan State Police said Thursday afternoon that an autopsy showed Taylor died of one gunshot wound to the chest and another to the head. Bush died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities said a .22-caliber gun was used.

They are treating the case as a murder-suicide.

Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said on Aug. 22, she filed one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against Mr. Bush, alleging he had sexual intercourse with a person aged 13 to 15, specifically Taylor.

Mr. Bush posted 10 percent of a $50,000 bond and was released from jail on the condition that he have no contact with Taylor.

Ms. Ambrozaitis said she met with Taylor a week ago to go over her testimony for a preliminary examination that was scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"She was upbeat. She was just how she normally is," the prosecutor said. "She makes me laugh because she has that attitude about her. She was on board about testifying against him and never gave us any indication she wasn't on board with that."

She said Taylor and her father met with her again Tuesday "because the defendant was calling her cell phone and sending her text messages."

Ms. Ambrozaitis said that after meeting, she forwarded information to the Osceola County Prosecutor regarding Mr. Bush's repeated attempts to contact Taylor, who had been staying with in that county with her father.

Ms. Ambrozaitis said she filed a motion to revoke his bond.

"I intended to argue that his bond be raised after the preliminary examination was held the following morning," she said.

It would turn out to be too late.

Ms. Ambrozaitis said she never imagined Mr. Bush would hurt Taylor. He had never threatened her, and she had not expressed fear about him. She also believes their relationship began consensually, but that changed after her mother found out and brought her to the police department to report it.

"Basically she said she wanted him to stop having contact with her. She didn't want to have contact with him. She didn't want to talk to him," the prosecutor said. "He was holding some of her personal belongings, and she was concerned about getting them back."

Ms. Ambrozaitis said Mr. Bush had purchased gifts for Taylor, had tattooed her name across his back, and had engaged in other behavior she considered "predatory."

"Clearly you have to wonder what possesses a normal 38-year-old man to want to have a relationship with a 15-year-old," she said.

Mr. Bush's minivan was found by a Michigan State Police trooper in the cemetery in Berlin Township, north of Monroe about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday.

They say they entered the vehicle and found the pair dead inside.

About 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, while Ms. Nunn was driving home, she encountered Mr. Bush's mini-van on North Dixie Highway, about one mile from her home.

She said they both pulled into a convenience store parking lot, where she got out of her vehicle and approached Mr. Bush in his van.

She said he told her that he had left some personal belongings in the garage of her home for her to give to their son. She said she looked inside the minivan and saw Taylor's body that was partially covered with a blanket on the floor behind the driver's seat.

Ms. Nunn said Mr. Bush said he and the girl had made a pact to die together in a murder-suicide.

"He said he asked her to shoot him first, but she didn't want to shoot him because she was afraid she would back out of it."

Staff writer Jennifer Feehan contributed to this report.

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