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Family seeks answers in hit-run case



Janet Brown Anderson

For the last five years, Janet Brown Anderson’s family has been without a mom, without a sister and without an aunt.

But what still haunts them is that they’ve been without answers.

Anderson was struck by a car while walking through a Bowling Green crosswalk June 23, 2004. She died five years ago today, at age 39, in a hospital bed.

No one has ever been named as a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run, and Anderson’s family wants closure.

"We just want someone to say, ‘I’m sorry,’" said Anderson’s sister, Deloris Brown. "We want to know why."

Brown said the five years since the crash have been hard not only on her but on Anderson’s 23-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter.

"I have tried to move on, but something inside me is saying ‘Not yet,’" she said.

A year ago, the Virginia State Police trooper in charge of the investigation, D.A. Melson said the police had gotten some new information. But Brown said nothing has come of that.

Cindy Gatewood, the victim-witness coordinator for Caroline, said she hopes that highlighting the anniversary of Anderson’s death will shine a light on the case.

"There’s somebody out there who knows something," she said, adding that Anderson’s family has always been active in groups for families of homicide victims.

"Because of that, it’s always fresh in our minds, but we want the community to remember," Gatewood said.

Brown said she believes there are people with information who have not come forward, either because they are afraid or because it has been so long since her sister was killed.

"I’m still holding out hope," she said.

Though there is little evidence about the case that’s been made public, Brown said the information she’s been given is that a green or black car struck her sister just after dark.

Police reports say the incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. The car stopped, but pulled away.

The intersection of State Routes 207 and 1202, where Anderson was hit, is immediately in front of a McDonald’s, across the street from where she was living.

"The McDonald’s was open, and there were street lights," Brown said. "Someone had to have seen it."

Brown said that while the family continues to wait for answers, they will remember Anderson’s loving and happy nature.

"She was always the one to crack a joke, the one who could make you laugh," Brown said. "Don’t a day go by that we don’t think about her."

If you have information about this case, contact State Trooper D.A. Melson at 804/633-6799.

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