Jacksonville police believe a 55-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed in Oceanway about 10 p.m. Tuesday but the vehicle who struck her didn't stop and the body on New Berlin Road just east of Starrat Road was not discovered until early Wednesday morning.
"This morning about 5:30 we had a homeowner who left out of her house to go to work and she discovered a body of an adult black female laying at the roadside near her driveway," said Sgt. Donald Washington of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Late Wednesday police identified the victim as Paula Abdullah. Homicide detectives say she was walking east on the edge of the road when she was struck, knocking her about 80 feet off the road.
JSO does not believe anyone witnessed the crash, but interviewed neighbors hoping to find a witness.
"In talking to the homeowners, they reported hearing a large thud sound last night about 10 p.m. They looked out but didn't see anything. They attributed it to the sound of a branch falling because they have a lot of older trees in the area," said Washington.
From the preliminary investigation, police believe the crash occurred around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
"From evidence at the scene the only thing we can ascertain is it's probably going to be a dark-colored vehicle, unknown type. It should have damage to the right front of the vehicle," said Washington.
JSO said the woman may have been hit while walking along the roadway sometime around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, but said it's still early in the investigation. Police said there are no sidewalks in that area.
"It appears she was walking along the roadside and was struck from behind. The vehicle would have been traveling eastbound on New Berlin," said Washintgon.
All eastbound lanes of New Berlin Road were closed from Pulaski Road to Daylight Trail and the westbound lanes of New Berlin Road were closed from Airport Center Drive to Pulaski Road for more than two hours.
This is the first hit-and-run fatality of a pedestrian in Jacksonville this year. Last year, five pedestrians and two people on bicycles were killed by motorists that did not stop.
Anyone who has any information about the hit-and-run or a black vehicle with front-end damage that may have been in the area Tuesday night is asked to call Crimestoppers at 866-845-TIPS.