‘Praying for a miracle’: Teen’s family hopes for closure in her hit-and-run death

Winter Grier, 19, was killed in a hit-and-run as she walked along South Park Boulevard in Ellenwood on July 18, according to police records.

Credit: Family Photo

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Winter Grier, 19, was killed in a hit-and-run as she walked along South Park Boulevard in Ellenwood on July 18, according to police records.

Credit: Family Photo

Winter Grier’s family is hoping for help.

The 19-year-old aspiring cosmetologist was killed July 18, struck by a vehicle while walking along South Park Boulevard in Ellenwood. But according to Clayton County police records, “There was no roadway evidence located to assist in the identifying of the motor vehicle involved in this collision.”

So loved ones are hoping to bring attention to Grier’s case in the hopes of identifying a suspect.

“With this awareness out there, if somebody knows something or the person who did this may feel guilt and see what they have done to this beautiful young lady,” family friend Demetrice Harrison said in an interview the day after Grier died. “Ellenwood isn’t that big, and if it’s somebody local, it’ll be quick.”

It has been more than two weeks, however, and investigators wrote in a crash report that there was not even enough evidence to reconstruct the crash scene.

Police have made no pleas for assistance in the case, and the department did not respond to multiple requests for information or clarify why the public had not been made aware of the incident or the search for suspects.

As for Harrison, she said that when her longtime best friend — Grier’s mother, Valerie — called her, “I knew I had to get by her side immediately.”

“We’re just praying for a miracle,” Harrison added. “(Grier’s) mother is still just distraught, and I’m just trying to fill in and make sure that the most important things (get done).”

The teen’s three siblings, ages 25, 16 and 5, are also devastated.

Grier had just had a job interview at a nearby Popeyes on South Park Boulevard the morning she died and was walking to her boyfriend’s workplace along the same road when she was struck and killed by a vehicle around 10:30 a.m., according to her family and police records. Her belongings, including a bracelet, headphones, both of her shoes and a sock, were scattered along the road near where her body lay.

There were no witnesses to the collision, investigators noted in the crash report. A passerby noticed Grier lying on the ground and called 911. Investigators said Grier was walking in the travel lane when she was struck, according to the report.

Grier was taken to a hospital, where she died a short time later. Harrison said that while there, the waiting room was filled with the same people who were there the day she was born.

“From the time she was a small baby, she came out bursting with energy,” Harrison, who has known Grier’s mother for several years, said. “She’s always tried to keep up with her big sister, so she was that kind of baby. ... Even though she was tiny and small, she’s always had the biggest ego with all the bigger kids.”

Grier was getting ready to start college this year and had dreams of becoming a cosmetologist, Harrison said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help cover expenses in the aftermath of Grier’s death, since her mother is having to take time off from work to grieve.

A celebration of life is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Divine Mortuary Services in Lithonia.