Mission Mounties look for new leads in an old hit and run case

Local Mounties are digging into an unsolved hit and run case from 1987 and are hoping new clues will surface.

Local Mounties are digging into an unsolved hit and run case from 1987 and are hoping new clues will surface.

Joan Kathleen Walker, 30, was walking eastbound on the north side of Lougheed Highway, just past Dewdney Trunk Road, when she was struck by a grey, four-door vehicle heading west. She suffered multiple injuries, including bone fractures and internal bleeding, and was killed.

According to witnesses at the time, the victim walked out into traffic several times prior to the crash. The suspect vehicle was also weaving around on the road, crossing the centre line.

Eyewitnesses didn’t get a licence plate, and the vehicle fled the scene, said Mission RCMP traffic supervisor Const. George Teixeira, adding it was dark and raining heavily that night.

Details of the incident are unclear as weather conditions prevented investigators from determining the point of impact or whether the victim was struck and flew over the vehicle, or was run over by it.

“There was not a lot of traffic at the time,” said Teixeira. “The witnesses were several hundred metres behind the suspect vehicle.”

Toxicology tests showed there was no alcohol or drugs in Walker’s body when she died.

Investigators at the time conducted a thorough investigation, checking all possible suspect vehicles, body shops in the Fraser Valley area, and even local bars where the driver might have been seen leaving impaired.

Hypnosis, a method not used by police anymore, was also used to help witnesses recall the event. A re-enactment was filmed for CrimeStoppers a year later.

All efforts failed to identify a suspect, but the file remains open.

Cold cases are reviewed every year or two to determine if there is any new information to work with, explained Teixeira, who looked over the case extensively and has been in touch with Walker’s daughter.

He knows the vehicle that hit Walker was probably taken off the road a long time ago, but he’s hoping someone with a guilty conscious will come forward, or someone who might have heard about the incident somewhere can help shed more light on what happened 24 years ago.

It would be nice to give Walker’s daughter some closure, said Teixeira.