Dadeville, Al. (WSFA) -- It's a widow's plea. "They took an entire life away," Katrina Vernon said.
A trooper's call for help. "It's always difficult when you have no witnesses," said Alabama Trooper Curtis Summerville.
Together Vernon and Summerville are trying to figure out who ran over Chris Vernon, a 28-year old construction worker and a father of two. Vernon died on Tallapoosa County Road 34, 9 miles south of Dadeville.
"I feel like they should pay for everything they did," said Katrina Vernon.
Here is what we know. Chris Vernon left Colonel Tom's Tavern on March 24th, 2007. It was around 3 in the morning. He was walking home and less than a mile from the bar it happened. Someone struck and killed Chris Vernon. Vernon was 15 miles from home. Katrina says her husband tried to call someone from the bar to pick him up but couldn't get in touch with anyone.
Katrina Vernon planted two large signs near the site where her husband of 4 years died. The signs have a picture of Chris holding his 2-year old son Elijah and two phone numbers. If anyone knows anything they are encouraged to call Alabama troopers at 256-234-2601 and/or the Vernon family at 256-825-8955. Family members say they hope the Governor's office will offer a reward in the case.
A white cross is also near the signs.
"There was something about Chris. Kids were drawn to him and he was drawn to kids. He helped build my house," said Katrina Vernon's sister Selena Bunn.
It's not clear whether this was intentional, but at 6' 2" and 250 pounds the family wonders how could the driver not see Chris. Katrina Vernon says her husband was wearing a blue t-shirt with large yellow letters on the back.
"They still did it and they still ran from it," said Vernon.
Troopers tell WSFA 12 News they have strong leads and some evidence including part of a car bumper found near the spot where Vernon was found.
"We made a match and it's a gold Mazda Millennia," said Summerville.
One year and counting for Chris Vernon's family. No suspects, no arrests, nothing yet to break the case open. Still, against the backdrop of unanswered questions, no one is about to let go of hope.
"We've had cases that have gone for year that were eventually solved," said trooper Summerville.
The latest records from the state show 21 people died from hit-and-run drivers in 2006. In every case, the driver left the scene.