The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help after a 22-year-old Florida woman was found dead in a highway median under “suspicious circumstances.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the body of Kara Fay Hanvey was discovered Sunday morning after authorities received a 911 call about a woman laying on her back in the grass median of U.S. Highway 92 East.
In the call made at around 6:40 a.m. on Sunday, and later released by the sheriff’s office, a man said he spotted her as he was driving past.
“I’m getting out to see if she’s OK,” the man said on the recording, according to The Ledger. “I don’t know if she’s breathing or not. No, she’s gone.”
When deputies arrived, they found Hanvey dead and no witnesses nearby.
“An autopsy determined she was fatally struck by a vehicle, and there are other suspicious circumstances surrounding her death,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Hanvey had reportedly suffered a broken leg, along with other injuries, WESH reports.
Her belongings were also found nearby along the shoulder of the highway.
Witnesses reportedly saw the young mom of two trying to wave down cars around 5:30 a.m. along the side of the highway, according to local station WFLA.
Those who knew Hanvey told the station the young mom had been trying to rebuild her life after a difficult time.
“She thought outside the box,” friend Angela Hough said. “She was probably one of the best young mothers I knew and every time she came into a room, she’d light it up.”
A roadside memorial was created Monday at the intersection of US 92 and Reynolds Road to honor Hanvey’s life.
“I don’t want anyone to drive down this intersection and not know who she was and what happened here,” Hough said.
The soheriff’s ffice is now asking anyone who may have been in the area between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, or those who may have known the victim, to contact authorities.
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