LocalSYR

Fulton police to offer new details in 1968 hit-and-run death

Darlene McCann was holding her four-year-old sister's hand when a car pulled the two apart. Carolee Sadie Ashby's hit-and-run death in Fulton remained unsolved for 45 years.
Fulton (WSYR-TV) - A Facebook message from an old family friend renewed efforts to find the driver who hit four-year-old Carolee Ashby on Halloween in 1968.

Darlene McCann was preparing to celebrate her 15th birthday when she headed to the store with her little sister to buy candles in Fulton. The girls were crossing Second Street, holding hands, when Ashby was suddenly pulled down the street by a passing car. The driver left the scene as Carolee died of her injuries. McCann was left standing in the street. She's still waiting for an apology 45-years later.

"It is something our family has lived with every day of our lives," said McCann.

Despite eyewitness accounts, the case went cold. Interviews and clues over the years prompted calls for tips, but Fulton police admitted key evidence had been lost.

Last year McCann noticed that a woman she grew up with had sent a private message on Facebook, indicating that she had important information.

"She said she wasn't sure how to tell me. I could tell her voice was cracking and she was starting to cry," McCann recalled, describing their phone conversation. "She started to say she was asked to be the alibi and she refused and she doesn't know why she didn't come to the family."

McCann says she turned the information over to investigators, hoping it would help solve the case. Police called the family last week, with an update. According to McCann, police allowed her to read a statement from someone who indicated that he believed he was the driver who hit Carolee Ashby.

When asked if she could provide the statement, McCann said police wouldn't allow her to have a copy and that she was encouraged to avoid releasing the man's identity.

On Monday, an investigator confirmed that there has been an update in the Ashby case, but no other information was offered. The Fulton Police Department plans to release more details to the media on Tuesday morning.

"I feel like it is a long time coming. But, neither my mom or I have that feeling that we're satisfied," said McCann.

Ashby's father and brother have since died, never getting the chance to see the case get solved. McCann's family has been told that the statute of limitations on charges typically related to a hit-and-run crash have expired. But, they want more than an arrest.

"We just wish that they would be able to tell my mother, in person, that they were sorry."
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