Police seek person of interest after woman, 80, killed in Cape May County hit-and-run

"I was really trying to make sure she was awake. I was trying to say, 'stay with me,'" said a man who rushed to the victim's side.

Trish Hartman Image
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Police seek person of interest after woman, 80, struck and killed
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New Jersey State Police are searching for the driver they say fatally struck an elderly woman and left the scene in Cape May County.

UPPER TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey State Police are searching for the driver they say fatally struck an elderly woman and left the scene in Cape May County.

"She was just hit and left there. And it's just wrong," said neighbor Kathleen Brown. "Totally, totally wrong."

Flowers sit at the corner where 80-year-old Marjorie Straubmuller was struck and killed last week.

"It's super sad that something like that would happen and then someone would just kind of leave her there," said neighbor Emily Camano.

Police say it happened around 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Upper Township, when someone driving northbound on Stagecoach Road struck Straubmuller and left the scene before officers arrived.

Several neighbors came upon the victim that night.

Neighbor Bob DeMari spoke with Action News about what he saw at the scene.

"You could tell that she was definitely hit and thrown quite a bit because you could see her shoes about 30 feet away, her glasses, but I was really trying to make sure she was awake. I was trying to say, 'stay with me,'" said DeMari.

His wife, an Emergency Room nurse, came down to help until responders arrived.

The victim died from her injuries.

"It was a pretty scary scene to see her laying on the ground kind of gasping for air, looking around, trying to talk a little bit. And then someone just left her there," said DeMari.

New Jersey State Police put out a composite sketch of a person of interest, describing the driver as a white man in his 50s, 5'10 to 6'2, 220-250 pounds, wearing glasses with short brown or gray balding hair.

He was driving a silver or gray SUV, possibly a Jeep Grand Cherokee, with one or two "OC" bumper stickers.

Neighbors are hoping for an arrest soon.

"I guess the punishment is him living with his conscience. And I hope that takes effect," said Joe Colistra.

Neighbors also say this is upsetting because many people walk or run around the area on a daily basis.

Anyone with information is asked to contact New Jersey State Police Woodbine Station Detective Bureau at 609-861-5698, or the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit at 609-561-1800, extension 3252.

Tips can be made anonymously.