Woman killed when stolen SUV crashes through her home

JSO: Lincoln Aviator also involved in hit-and-run nearby; driver sought

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 66-year-old woman was killed Tuesday night when a stolen SUV crashed into her Moncrief home and struck her while she was sitting on a couch watching TV, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. 

It happened about 10 p.m. at a home near the intersection of West 31st and Pearce streets. 

A silver 2004 Lincoln Aviator smashed through a concrete-block wall into the den area, struck Sarah Joshua and continued through the home into the backyard then the driver ran away, police said. 

Joshua was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 43-year-old nephew, who was in another section of the house, was not injured, police said. 

IMAGES: Diagram of crash sequence

A computer check revealed that the Aviator had been reported stolen Saturday from a condo complex and was involved in a hit-and-run crash on nearby West 36th Street prior to crashing into the house, investigators said. 

Based on evidence at the scene, traffic homicide detectives believe the driver lost control of the SUV, left the road, traveled along the sidewalk, crossed over West 31st Street and crashed into the home.

"In cases like this, they do respond with an evidence technician to collect that valuable evidence such as DNA, skid patterns, speed patterns and all that," said Officer Christian Hancock, spokesman for JSO. "Anything we collect, we send off to the labs at the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement). So that's just a matter of time."

Witnesses said there was blood in the SUV.

"They could check for fingerprints, of course, anywhere around the vehicle, depending on how long (the driver) had the car after it was stolen," said Gil Smith, News4Jax crime analyst. 

While investigators seem to have evidence to work with, Smith said, the community can also help. 

"One thing that could help police is checking any kind of surveillance video."

Neighbors told News4Jax that Joshua was someone who knew everyone in the neighborhood.

"I especially can't forget about a sweet person like that," a neighbor said. "I will never be able to forget about that."

The family's pastor said they are hopeful police can find some DNA evidence in the stolen car that can lead to an arrest. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Joshua's family.

Anyone with information about the crash or the identity of the driver is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. 

About the Authors:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.