Sampson Independent

Search ongoing for hit-and-run suspect

Troopers from Sampson County’s Highway Patrol unit are seeking help from the public to help bring justice to two hit-and-run victims.

Officials are searching for suspects involved in the deaths of Brian Keith Graham, 39, of Dunn, and Lest Dvonne Elkins, 57, of Clinton.

“We urge anyone with information about this incident to come forward,” said Trooper S.K. Naylor. “Even the smallest tips that someone may think is benign and have nothing to do with it, may turn out to be very important in the case. We just ask that for the family of the person involved.”

Graham who was struck by an unknown vehicle on Jan. 20, while walking south on Ira B. Tart Road, near the Harnett County line. According to reports, the 39-year-old was walking in the middle of the roadway, with traffic, and was struck from behind. A witness said he saw a newer model silver Mustang, with a pin stripe, leave the scene. He could not see the collision and could not make out the driver.

“We feel like somebody out there probably knows something, rather it’s family or someone who knows the person who fled the scene,” Naylor said. “The vehicle had to have some significant damage to it.”

Several Mustang sightings around the area were investigated, but they could not locate the vehicle. For several months, there’s been no leads. Graham’s father, Phillip Graham is offering a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible Before his passing, Graham recently moved to Dunn from Rockingham for a job. Troopers met with the family who traveled from Rockingham and put fliers around the area

“They’re very hopeful that it’ll get solved and that someone will come forward,” he said. “At this point, we’re just relying on the community that someone out there knows something.”

For the death of Elkins, an arrest warrant was issued for Tiburcio Flores of Rosin Hill Road, Newton Grove. Troopers are still searching for him. Elkins was struck by a 2002 Ford Mustang on Friday, Sept. 2, 2017. He was standing in the roadway on Tyndall Grove Road and was helping family members with a broken-down car. The Mustang was traveling south and Elkins was standing in the north bound lane before the Mustang crossed the line and hit him.

After the collision, the Mustang left the scene and was later abandoned in a field on Peterson Road. Elkins passed away from injuries on Sept. 5, 2017. After four weeks of investigation and speaking with Flores’ family members, the arrest warrant was issued on Oct. 5, 2017.

The suspects in the incident are not related, according to the highway patrol. Naylor added that fatal hit-and-run are not a common occurrence, but accidents where motorists don’t stop after causing damage.

During the day, anyone with information to assist with the case, may contact Naylor or other troopers by calling 910-592-3141. After hours, highway patrol officials may be reached by dialing *47, which is *HP on a cellular phone. A telecommunicator will take the message and send it to the office.

Warrant issued in September 2017 pedestrian death

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.