91 days with no answers: Police respond to teen’s hit-and-run

BERLIN, Md. – It’s been 91 days since the death of 14-year-old Gavin Knupp.  91 days without a named suspect or arrest.

An investigation sparking a frenzy of emotions, a demand for answers, and calls for prayers, that all started on July 11th.

“The investigation at the time, indicated that this 14-year-old exited the passenger side of his vehicle, and crossed the street for reasons we were unsure of at that time, and then came back towards the vehicle, that he had exited from is when he was struck,” said Elena Russo, Maryland State Police Spokesperson.

Gavin’s mother, told 47ABC, the teen asked his sister to pull over after he saw a deer head on Grays Corner Road. A quick picture and it would be the last captured photo of him alive.

Police say the car never stopped and left the scene. They later identified as a dark colored 2011 Mercedes C-300. However, it wasn’t until six days after the accident, that Maryland State Police found the suspected vehicle.

“Thankfully, we had witnesses contact our investigators who were able to lead us to the vehicle,” said Russo.

Police say they’re lacking two major things: a confession and surveillance footage.

“They’re trying to link somebody behind that wheel to that vehicle. Just because they know the owner of that vehicle does not mean the owner was behind the wheel at the time of the incident,” said Russo.

While they tell us finger printing was a part of the initial investigation, they wouldn’t confirm to me whose prints were found. However they did tell us some contributing factors to the crash.

“Alcohol, speed, distracted driving… all of those contributing circumstances are certainly a part of this investigation,” said Russo.

Police say they found damage to the driver’s side rear view mirror and a broken headlight. But what about DNA evidence? Evidence was a topic they wouldn’t share at the time of the interview.
It’s part of an investigation Russo tells us is still ongoing.

“It’s not like you see on TV, where these crimes can be solved within an hour, it takes days upon days and search warrants upon search warrants.”

According to Russo, fatal crashes of this nature take time especially with the limited evidence.

“Hit-and-run crashes rely heavily on witness information, that’s how they got to the Mercedes, so now we really need somebody to come forward and call our investigators,” said Russo.

“Our investigators realize the family members and the community want answers, said Russo. “But they want to give the right answers and do a thorough job before handing it over to the State’s Attorney.”

While Gavin’s family, friends, and the surrounding community waits on those answers… investigators ask for patience – and confidence that they are actively working to get this case solved.
It’s a sentiment echoed by a statement released last month from the Knupp family. Where they stated ‘they met with the State’s Attorney’s office and believe those responsible for Gavin’s death will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.’

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