11/10/06 — Investigators track hit-and-run car

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Investigators track hit-and-run car

By Lee Williams
Published in News on November 10, 2006 1:46 PM

Less than 24 hours after authorities found the body of a Goldsboro man struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, authorities might have already identified a suspect.

Troopers of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Wayne County Sheriff's Office detectives and State Bureau of Investigation crime scene investigators swarmed the parking lot of Madison's Prime Rib restaurant on New Hope Road after a car matching the description of the hit-and-run vehicle was spotted Thursday by a sheriff's deputy.

The Highway Patrol, which is the lead investigating agency on the case, remained guarded about their find, advising that further inquiry was necessary before more information could be released.

"We are following up on a strong lead, but due to the sensitive nature of the case, we cannot say what it is," Highway Patrol Commander First Sgt. D.W. Banks said.

Meanwhile, sheriff's detectives snapped photographs and combed an older model pearl-colored Buick LeSabre for clues. SBI officials arrived later and also took photographs of the vehicle that had extensive front end damage, a broken windshield and a broken driver's side mirror.

An elderly woman was questioned about the vehicle damage. However, no charges were filed in the case.

Andy Melvin Anderson, 47, who lived along the highway on U.S. 70 East, left his home carrying beer to take it to another location. As he crossed, the median near Long's Plant Farm Road, he was struck and killed. The accident occurred about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Highway Patrol officials said.

Anderson's body was found about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday after the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Elroy Volunteer Fire Department were alerted to the body.

The Highway Patrol also was alerted to the body and a search for the hit-and-run driver ensued.

Officials said in an earlier interview Thursday morning that the hit-and-run vehicle was believed to be white in color and would likely have damage to the headlight and headlight assembly. The windshield possibly would be damaged as well, officials said.

Paint chips and glass fragments were found at the scene leaving officials with little clues to find the person responsible.

No one has come forward to admit their involvement in the accident, so officials have stepped up their search effort.