by: Dave Faherty Updated:MAIDEN, N.C. —
A 12-year old boy, a mechanic and a telecommunicator were recognized Thursday afternoon for helping solve a fatal hit-and-run accident in Lincoln County.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol had few clues to who killed a woman south of Maiden last spring.
The crowd cheered as Randy Guardado, Bill Boone and Gary Gaston were recognized with the Second Mile Award in the Maiden Town Hall.
The three don't know each other but played a crucial role in solving the hit-and-run that killed Sherry Kittle two months ago.
"I wanted the person caught,” Guardado said. “Why did he run away? Literally, why didn't he help the woman?"
The highway patrol said Guardado, who is 12-year's old, searched his yard near the crash scene and found an antenna and other evidence belonging to the SUV.
Those items were taken to Bill Boone who works at a garage and wrecker service near Conover.
Boone was able to narrow the search to three different Chevrolet models.
"I've got a son-in-law who's a highway patrolman so I'm always happy to help the law enforcement agencies I can," said Bill Boone with Skeet's Wrecker.
Gaston, who is a dispatcher with the highway patrol took that information and matched it with all the possible vehicles in the area.
"I accept this award for myself and all of the people in telecommunications as well,” Gaston said. “They deserve it to."
Kittle's family including her son Jeremiah, who thinks of his mom every day, were in attendance at the ceremony.
"In the back of your mind you can't help but wonder that this may be one of the cases that never gets solved,” Kittle said. “The efforts of these three individuals helped bring the case to a close."
The highway patrol arrested Travis Fitzpatrick and charged him with felony hit-and-run after getting a Crime Stoppers tip hours after Eyewitness News aired the story with the information provided by the three.