Colts contribute to award money in Boone County hit-and-run case

Anita Wernsing
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Anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest and conviction in the hit-and-run death of a 78-year-old woman could receive up to $16,000 in award money.

Anita Wernsing was struck and killed the day after Thanksgiving last year as she walked along SR 267 near her Lebanon home.

"We want to know what happened and why the person drove off," Wernsing's son-in-law Gary Davis said at a news conference Monday night.

Davis and the rest of Wernsing's family is hoping money talks when it comes to finding the driver who hit and killed her.

"A 78-year-old mother and grandmother was left on the side of the road. I don't think that's the way you'd want your mother, your grandmother, to be left," said Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell.

Indianapolis Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay has pledged $10,000 and punter Pat McAfee has added $5,000 toward the reward. That's on top of $1,000 offered by Crime Stoppers.

"The money will hopefully entice somebody to come forward or at least, 16-thousand dollars can solve a lot of problems," said Wernsing's granddaughter, Mistile Linn.

So far, investigators' biggest problem has been identifying the driver of what witnesses have said was a late 1990s model, dark-colored SUV seen in the area where Wernsing was struck and killed, just down the road from the church she attended.

"There's an extreme case of non-closure here. We've really...we want to know what happened and why the person drove off," said Davis.

Wernsing's family and investigators said they believe someone out there knows something that can help them find the person responsible.

"I can't imagine carrying that burden and if you lift that burden off of yourself, you will feel a lot better," Linn said.

It's a burden Wernsing's family hopes will be easier to get rid of, considering $16,000 can replace it.

Police have asked anyone with information on the case to call them at 765-482-1412 or send the department an email here: