Crime Stoppers video pushes for tips on Boone County cold case
Nearly a year and a half after a hit-and-run driver killed a Boone County woman walking home from church, there's a new effort to find the person responsible.
Anita Wernsing, 78, was struck by a vehicle while she was walking along State Road 267 west of Zionsville in November 2012. She was on her way home from church when she was killed.
Whoever struck Wernsing did not stop. It's believed the driver ran off the road after hitting Wernsing, then continued northbound. The case has hit a dead end, with no witnesses and very little evidence at the scene.
Now a new campaign is underway to solve this case and other unsolved crimes. Wernsing's case is part of a new public service announcement from Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana. The announcement, and others like it, will appear on Crimestoppers' website and other outlets.
Wernsing's family hopes the video will stir up memories and new clues needed to solve the case.
"The not knowing…you wouldn't think not knowing would bother you so much, but it does. It bothers you a lot. It was an accident. It's okay. The forgiveness is even there. But somebody, even if you're not who did it, somebody knows. More than somebody knows," said Mistie Linn, Wernsing's granddaughter, who held a baby in her arms.
"All of our tips have been exhausted. We are counting on more to come in," said Sgt. Ben Phelps, Lebanon Police Dept.
Investigators are counting on the new public service announcements, hoping they turn up the heat on this and other cold cases.
Along with its website, Crime Stoppers is using its Facebook page and cable TV to publicize 16 central Indiana unsolved murders and fatal hit and run crashes.
The stories told by relatives and detectives are drawing thousands of viewers. Photos and news releases typically draw hundreds.
"You have to be in your face. You have to shake some cages," said Sgt. Steven DuBois, a former homicide detective who wants to rekindle people's memories.
"Something may have changed. A wife may be an ex-wife. The cousin who didn't want to talk may talk now," he suggested.
In their journey for justice police and victims are racing against time, hoping to get clues they need before the statute of limitations runs out.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the Boone County Sheriff's Office at 765-482-1412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.