Hope Rivenburg weighs in on 'senseless' murder of Indiana truck driver

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 7/2/2014

Nearly a week after Michael Boeglin’s body was discovered in his burning rig outside the ThyssenKrupp Steel Plant, Detroit homicide investigators still have no leads or suspects in the case.

Boeglin, 31, of Ferdinand, Ind., was fatally shot and his rig set on fire around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 26. He leaves behind his wife, Ashley, who is four months pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Hope Rivenburg said the news of Boeglin’s tragic murder hits eerily close to home for her. Five years ago, Hope’s husband, Jason Rivenburg, was fatally shot while parked in an abandoned gas station in South Carolina. After arriving too early with a load of milk, he was turned away because he was not allowed to park at the Food Lion where he was scheduled to deliver the following morning. Like Boeglin’s wife, Ashley, Hope was also pregnant, delivering twins nine days after Jason’s tragic death.

“My heart goes out to this driver’s family,” Hope Rivenburg told Land Line. “It’s another senseless tragedy that didn’t need to happen. It’s so sad that this man was taken before he even had a chance to be a daddy.”

Detroit firefighters were called to the parking lot near ThyssenKrupp plant early Thursday morning after receiving a report that a tractor-trailer was on fire near the steel plant.

“This is still a fresh investigation that our homicide division is working on,” Jennifer Moreno, public information officer for the Detroit Police Department, told Land Line. “We still have no leads or suspects at this time.”

Moreno said so far the department hasn’t been able to connect Boeglin’s murder to a number of homicide and arson cases in the city.

Detroit Police are urging anyone with information about Boeglin’s death to either call its Homicide Division at 313-596-2260 or call the agency’s toll-free number at 1-800-SPEAK UP.

Officer Nicole Kirkwood of the Detroit Police Department told Land Line that the coroner’s office stated that Boeglin had been shot at least twice. She said five shell casings were found at the scene.

A fund has been set up to support his wife, Ashley. To contribute to the fund you can visit any German American Bank. For branch locations, call 812-482-1314.

OOIDA Member Bob Lloyd of Ottawa Lake, Mich., told “Land Line Now” a day after Boeglin’s death that he has parked in the same lot where the Indiana truck driver was killed. He said the area where the drivers park, on a stone lot near some baseball fields, is in a “very deprived, rundown area of Detroit.”

“No, it is not a safe and secure area,” Lloyd said. “There’s all kinds of people running around. It’s a very high drug area.”

However, he said a safe haven is located about 200 feet from where the drivers park, which is the gated ThyssenKrupp plant. Lloyd said the facility doesn’t allow outside carriers to park inside the gated area.

ThyssenKrupp representatives still had not provided Land Line with a copy of its policy about trucks parking in its gated facility.

Earlier this week, Andrew Teachout, who is the marketing manager for ThyssenKrupp Materials NA in Southfield, Mich., released a statement about the murder.

“Following this shocking and tragic incident, we are proactively reaching out to our suppliers and employees to heighten their awareness of their personal safety and security at all times, specifically in the area surrounding our Detroit facility,” the statement read.

Since Jason’s death in 2009, Hope has worked to bring awareness to the lack of safe and secure parking for truck drivers across the country.

She lobbied for a law that was passed in her husband’s name, Jason’s Law, which was included in the current highway law known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century – or MAP-21. The provision directs the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a study to evaluate the capability of states to provide adequate parking, assess commercial vehicle traffic and to develop a system to measure the adequacy of parking. That survey is currently underway.

Her hope was that no other truck driver’s family would have to go through what she went through after losing her husband and father of three.

“I just don’t understand why this keeps happening,” Hope said. “I know what this driver’s family is going through, to have someone taken from them because they don’t have a safe place to park.”

Reed Black, “Land Line Now” staff reporter, contributed to this report

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