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Jacqueline Walsh, Catholic Nun, Identified as Hit-and-Run Victim

Woman found dead on side of Water Mill street Monday night; suspect still at large.

SOUTHAMPTON, NY -- Detectives are searching for a hit-and-run driver who fled after fatally striking a nun on Monday night.

The victim has been identified as Sister Jacqueline Walsh, a pastoral associate at in Syosset, who was attending a retreat in the Water Mill area with fellow members of the Sisters of Mercy, according to .

Det. Sgt. Lisa Costa said that police were called at 8:30 p.m. Monday with a report of a woman lying on the ground a few feet from the roadway, bleeding and unresponsive, near 383 Rose Hill Road in Water Mill. The woman, white and approximately 60 years of age, was dead upon police arrival, Costa said.

Just a half mile from the scene, detectives located an unoccupied 2009 Volkswagen Touareg with front-end damage, Costa said. Detectives are asking the public's help in finding the driver, said to be a white Hispanic male, approximately 5 feet and 7 inches tall, in his 20s or 30s, with short spiked hair, who was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the accident.

Tuesday morning Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said the driver has been identified. “We know who the driver of the car is, and there are police officers right now on the street trying to locate him,” he said. “He lives in the community where the incident occurred.”

Spota said a prosecutor in his vehicular crimes unit — which he created in January — is assigned to the case and was on the scene with investigators Monday night.

In addition to members of the district attorney’s office and Southampton Town Police Department, also assisting at the scene were New York State troopers, a Riverhead K-9 unit, members of the Suffolk County Police Crime Lab, and the , Costa said.

Costa urged anyone with information to call the detective unit at 631-702-2230.

Sister Patricia Vetrano, the president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Mid-Atlantic Community, said they are "are heartbroken and devastated at the tragic death of Sister Jackie."

"Jackie was well-loved, a woman of faith, warmth and humor who touched the lives of many with her joy and concern for others," Vetrano said.

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PREVIOUSLY:

A woman was discovered dead on the side of the road in Water Mill on Monday night.

Southampton Town Police Sgt. Michael Burns said that a passerby discovered a person lying on the ground on Rose Hill Road at 8:30 p.m. and called police.

As of 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, detectives were still on scene investigating, Burns said. No further information would be released until after the family of the victim is notified, he said.

The passerby also reported discovering a pocketknife nearby, but Burns said the pocketknife may have been unrelated.

Arlene M. Baladi July 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM
How can someone - anyone hit a human being, however small, and NOT stop to help them? Did this person not have insurance or a valid drivers license? I don't understand...
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 06:07 PM
There suspect's description came directly from the police: "The search for the driver continues and Detectives are asking for help in locating a white Hispanic male, approximately 5’7”, in his 20-30’s, with short spiked hair, who was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the accident."
Sophie7 July 10, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Guaranteed he has no insurance AND he was wasted. May she be at Peace always. Absolutely beyond awful.
Nancy July 10, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Your last sentence probably indicates WHY. Since NY doesn't always comply with notifying ICE on criminal matters, think more or less people who are "undocumented" come to NY?
Janice July 10, 2012 at 06:46 PM
OMG. I cannot believe this. So sad. How can anyone leave the scene.. Rest in peace Sister you are with God now.
Chris Austin July 10, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I knew sister Jackie. Graduated from St Edward the confessor last year. She was so nice. RIP
Virgin Steele July 10, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Unfortunately~i think there will be more fatalities to come this summer. This is #2 that i know of since 4th of July on the roads, The roads are full of clueless & rude people. More so this year-than i can ever remember seeing.
Mr. Bob Dobalina July 10, 2012 at 07:43 PM
"White" is the new qualification the media uses as cover when the perp is a Latino. The sad irony here is that a member of the same community that the Sister spent her last years helping has heartlessly left her to die on the side of the road. As for the murderer, he'd better hope he's more Latino than ''White''.
Mary Beth July 10, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Mr. Dobalina, you represent the worst that mankind has to offer.
Mary Beth July 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Guarantee? Is that your America, one where you jump to conclusions and convict a person without due process? No doubt you consider yourself a "patriot" while having absolutely zero understanding of what it means.
Mr. Bob Dobalina July 10, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Marybeth, do you have a purpose here or are you just hurling insults at people who post here. Please have some respect for the deceased and her family. This is not the place.
Mary Beth July 10, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Yes, Mr. Dobalina, your post was so respectful of the deceased, assuming that she was killed by those in the community she helped. Your hypocrisy is a vile as your postings.
julie pokry July 10, 2012 at 09:05 PM
It doesn't matter whether you have insurance or license you stop and do the right thing!!!!!
Jaguar-Guy July 10, 2012 at 10:01 PM
R.I.P. always Sister. As for the bastard who left her to die (maybe she could have been saved), I hope you rot in Hell - and lose your mind. Tell Tale Heart - bump, bump, bump !!!
Jaguar-Guy July 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Horrible drivers out there this season - just morons and clueless how to drive or be civil.
Maryanne July 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I knew sister jackie personally and she would want us to haveecy and forgiveness on the person responsible Her motto was Do all you can for God's people because time is short."  Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. - how true that is our parish willies her greatly
Sharon Lynch July 11, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Sr. Jackie was a beloved member of our family. I think she would want the person who killed her to stop running. He or she will face a lifetime of guilt and regret no matter what. Our hearts are broken tonight. She will be so very missed. Sharon Lynch
Chris Coach July 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM
I grew up with sister Jackie as a kid- prior to her entering the convent! What a loss for mankind but such a gain to the heavens! A new angel is born! Sister Jackie has inspired many lives. I will always remember her and we will miss her dearly!
Emily Cappiello July 11, 2012 at 01:07 AM
This is such a tragedy! She was the youth minister at my high school in Syosset. She will be missed terribly!
airborne July 11, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Rest in peace sister jackie, I was just speaking with my father and he was telling me all the stories from your childhood when you two would play baseball and you would be the catcher for both teams, stories from down at the Green, and many other lovely memories. May you rest in peace. Airborne.
Maurizio July 11, 2012 at 06:10 AM
I agree with Sharon and I will add that Sr Jackie was one of the nicest human beings I have met. I invite all to honor her splendid presence in our lives by throwing away all feelings of vengeance, and other. Ethnic/racist assumptions about the driver. Sister Jackie would want us to unite around feeling of community. We'll miss you but you'll always live in our hearts.
Nancy July 11, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Truly, I do believe a lot of it is phones/texting. And, some people are oblivious, no matter where they are.
Petermlynch July 11, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Jackie was a great friend to my entire extended family. Her youthful energy, sense of humor, and wonderful spirit will be missed. Her familiar greeting of "Hey Kiddo!" will never be heard again. Rest in peace Sister Jackie Walsh.
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Syosset Patch has written an obituary for Sister Jackie. You can read it here: http://syosset.patch.com/articles/syosset-mourns-beloved-sister-jackie
noelle July 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Rip sr.jackie. your smile lit up the room .... you will be missed by so many xo
Meadow Lane July 14, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Four "white women" (how's that for an opener) nearly killed me with the car they were driving when I crossed the street legally at Saks. When I stopped to keep from getting hit, they looked at me like I was delaying their trip. Their license plate? Manhattan. Just another car load of Bridge & Tunnel jackasses running between yard sales. I'm sure that Sister Jackie would have said a prayer for them. I wanted to kick them in their fanny belts.
Chris F July 14, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Why havent the police released the name and picture of the driver? They know who he is so why not enlist the help of the public in finding him?
curious July 26, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Agreed. What is his name and who has a picture of him. Why so secretive. There was no eye witness to this accident. How do they know it was him driving besides the owner saying he lent him his car. Why did he lend him his car? Where are the details? There should be more details.
Jaguar-Guy July 26, 2012 at 06:49 PM
curious - they released his picture in another story.
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) July 26, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Here is the latest on this story, including the suspect's name and photo: http://patch.com/A-wvZl and http://patch.com/A-wpfP To keep receiving updates on this story, click the "Keep me posted" button above the comments section, next to where it says "Email me updates about this story."

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