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Lafayette family seeking justice in deadly hit-and-run

Justin Wilson's father discussed the burden of the unsolved case in an interview with News 18.

Posted: Apr 16, 2021 2:00 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2021 6:53 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The family of Justin Wilson is pleading for help from the community after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Wilson's father discussed the burden of the unsolved case in an interview with News 18.

"Until you go through it, you have no idea what a burden or weight it is on your shoulders," Robbins says.

Police say 34-year-old Wilson was struck by a vehicle in the 3100 block of Sagamore Parkway in Lafayette. The driver has not been identified or arrested.

"They took him from four children, a mother and father, brothers and sister, and then tried to hide instead of coming forward," Robbins says.

Wilson was last seen at a nearby restaurant that, at the time, was called Teppanyaki Grill. The last time he used his phone was around 11 p.m. Oct. 21. His body was found around 8 a.m. the next day.

"He did love Chinese food," Robbins says. "My wife was actually, they were texting back and forth, kidding around with the phones, you know?"

Lafayette Police Department says the driver might not have realized what he or she did. But Robbins, a long-time semi truck driver, says this was no accident.

"I'm not just going to drive away and say, 'Must have been a deer, must have been a rabbit.' It don't work like that ... so I don't buy that, I don't believe that for a minute," he says. "The person or persons responsible for this, they know what they done."

As News 18 previously reported, LPD believes the vehicle was a large SUV, van or truck. Robbins says surveillance video shows several large vehicles passing through the area.

"Multiple semis, there's some buses on there, there's some garbage trucks on there and lots of cars and pickups and that sort of thing," he says.

As News 18 previously reported, Indiana State Police recently analyzed paint chips collected from Wilson's clothes. A lab report suggests the vehicle had a custom paint job. 

The report also says the paint chips were gold and black but LPD has not released a possible color of the suspect vehicle.

"As far as I'm concerned, they haven't done nothing more than what they have initially," Robbins says.

LPD declined to be interviewed for this story. But police and Wilson's family are seeking any information from the community, and they're pleading for the driver to come forward.

"You know who you are and please, just come forward ... you can't carry this around for the rest of your life, man," Robbins says. "Step up. Step up."

Robbins says he misses his son's big bear hugs the most.

"When he hugged you, you knew you were hugged and that's one of the hardest things because you just don't get a hug like that all the time," he says.

The family created a Facebook page titled "Justice for Justin" where they post updates about the case.

Anyone with information should reach out to LPD at 765-807-1200.

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