Sister Jacqueline Walsh, of Syosset, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Rose Hill Road in Southampton.
"She was just the backbones of the parish. Everyone just counted on Sister Jackie to help. She never says no. She never says why not or why me. She was just a wonderful person," parishioner Peggy Swanson said.
Walsh was spending a week at a retreat house in Water Mill, Southampton with her fellow sisters. She decided to go for a stroll on Monday night. Police say she was walking on Rose Hill Road when a car hit her. The driver fled.
Police say they do have a suspect. They believe he lives around the Southampton area.
"The vehicle has been located. We know who the driver is. There are police officers right now on the street trying to locate him," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
In the meantime the St.Edward Confessor Community is trying to cope with the loss. Walsh was involved with pretty much every aspect of church life and was very close with the parish children.
Parishioners are trying to look at this entire thing the way they think Walsh would
"I think what Sister Jackie would want would be to extend her own mercy and forgiveness to whoever did this to whoever took her life," Deacon Jim Murphy said.
Detectives located an unoccupied 2009 Volkswagen Touareg with front-end damage approximately half a mile from the scene.
The search for the driver continues, and detectives are asking for help in locating a Hispanic male, approximately 5-foot-7, in his 20s or 30s, with short spiked hair, who was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the accident.
Anyone with information should call the Detective Unit at 631-702-2230.
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