HAYWOOD COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — It’s been 3 years since the death of a 33-year-old Haywood County man killed in a hit and run. The case remains unsolved. The man’s mother is asking for your help so her family can heal
Melinda Franklin says it’s always painful coming to the gravesite of her son, Chris Franklin, especially on the anniversary dates of his death.
She says the time of his death is frozen in time.
“3rd anniversary at 9:20 pm,” (May 21st), says Franklin.
Chris had been walking along Highway 19, also known as Dellwood Road in Waynesville. Troopers say an eastbound pick-up truck struck and killed him at the scene and kept going.
“Truly heart-breaking,” says Franklin.
She says it might have been racked up as a terrible accident, if the driver had come forward within a short period of time.
“But not now. I think it’s just pure murder,” Franklin says. “They ran over and killed my son knowing they ran over him. There was no mistake they did not know because they drug him.”
At the time a witness believed it could have been a maroon pick-up, but very little else for the Highway Patrol to track.
“How did it go from a maroon F-150 truck to no leads,” Franklin asks. “Several names keep popping up and still …when they go out and question, still a dead-end roadThey say the case is still open,” says Franklin.
For Franklin and her family, an open emotional wound remains.
“The not knowing is worse than anything,” she says. “I just want someone to come forward so the family can have closure.”
She remains convinced someone knows something about the driver.
“I believe in my heart that they’re from this town.”
She says no one would intentionally hurt Chris.
“Everybody in town loved Chris. He always had a smile on his face.”
Franklin is appealing to anyone with information to contact the Highway Patrol.
She lost Chris 3 years ago, and another son to a car wreck just 7 months before.
“I wouldn’t want no Mom to ever have to experience none of this heartache of losing one kid, let along two,” Franklin says.
She says no mother should have to make a trip to her son’s grave.
“Most Moms have their sons to talk to. I have to come here to talk to mine,” she says. “And I will keep fighting. I won’t lose hope. I love you Chris.”
Despite no arrest, Melinda says she will remain unrelenting in her quest for closure.
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