Police Continue Search for Hit & Run Driver

Posted on 19 July 2012

This week, Southampton Town Police urged a 30-year-old Latino believed to have been the driver of a car that hit and killed Roman Catholic Sister Jacqueline Walsh in Water Mill last week to come forward and turn himself into police.

According to Southampton Town Police Chief William Wilson, the man — whose name police are withholding at this time — is purposefully evading police at this point.

“We are not going to stop until this suspect is taken into custody,” said Wilson during a Monday morning press conference on a different matter. “We are working with the county, the state and U.S. Marshalls. I am putting every investigative resource into this case.”

Wilson said the department, working with other agencies, has followed up on a number of tips from community members about the location of the man in question, but that he appears to be moving around, evading arrest so far.

Wilson declined to say when the department would release the name or a photograph of the suspect, but added he would do so when his investigative team believes that is the best course of action.

Police have described the individual as a “white, Hispanic male,” about 5’7” with short spiked hair. Police believe he was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the incident.

Sister Walsh, 59, of Syosset was struck and killed during the hit-and-run accident on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill on Monday, July 9 around 8:30 p.m. Sister Walsh was on a religious retreat at the Sisters of Mercy house and was taking a walk when she was hit by a 2009 Volkswagen Touareg.

Police responded to the scene after receiving reports of a woman lying on the roadway, “bleeding and unresponsive.”

According to police, it appears the driver of the vehicle was an employee of the car’s owner — Rose Hill Road resident Andrew Zaro. The SUV was abandoned on a street nearby the scene of the hit and run.

Sister Walsh was a pastoral associate of St. Edward the Confessor Church in Syosset. Over the weekend, she was laid to rest at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, reportedly drawing hundreds to the burial on Saturday, thousands attending her wake on Friday night.

On Monday, Chief Wilson was adamant that justice would be served on behalf of Sister “Jackie,” as she was affectionately known by family and friends.

“We have investigators working very hard on this,” he said. “We will make every attempt we can to take this suspect into custody.”

In addition to the Southampton Town Police Department, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the state police and the U.S. Marshals are aiding in the investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Southampton Town Police Department’s Detective’s Unit at 702-2230.

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