Bartow family urges hit and run driver to turn themself in

- A Polk County family is heartbroken and desperate for answers after a hit-and-run crash took the life of Barry Powell, Jr.

It happened early Sunday morning. Barry was hit and killed by a car while walking along Highway 60 in Bartow.

Nearly a week later, the driver still has not come forward.

Powell's family said it's hurtful enough to lose a member of the family. It's made that much worse by knowing that whoever caused his death, just left him alone and never called for help.

They hope sharing his story will encourage the driver to do the right thing.

"There's just so many questions I wish I could ask him but I can't. I can't now," said his sister, Brittany Powell. "I thought that he was just going to go for a walk, he'd be back, I left the door unlocked just in case."

Brittany said Barry was going through a rough time. He lost his job and went for a walk to blow off some steam.

But around 1:30 a.m., a vehicle hit him on the side of Highway 60, east of Cedar Trail Landfill.

It wasn't until hours later that someone found his body.

"Just to hear that he was gone, it just really bothers me," Brittany said. "He was my best friend."

All deputies know is the driver was in a black vehicle with an unknown make and model. It now has damage to the front passenger side and front headlamp.

"I just wish whoever it was, they would've stopped," Brittany said.

There is a growing memorial on the side of Highway 60.

A member of the community actually built a white cross that now has messages on it, written by friends and family. The dates written on it show that Saturday would've been Barry's 30th birthday.

Sadly, this isn't the only recent hit and run case.

Polk County deputies also want to know who killed Leonard Limberly on October 28, as he rode a three-wheeled bike on Masterpiece Road, north of Lake Wales.

"It takes an absolute total sorry human being to run over and hit someone and leave them dead in the road," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "They're not cowards. They're sorry examples of human beings."

"Whoever did this needs to be caught," said Lonnie Cartwright, Barry's stepfather. "Sheriff Grady Judd will find him so he needs to come forward and confess."

It won't bring back the person they love. But, knowing what happened will at least bring this family some peace.

"They took my best friend," Brittany said. "My mom is suffering from it, my dad and my whole family. I just want justice for him because he was such a good person."

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is seeking any witnesses to this crash. They urge the public to call PCSO at 863-298-6200.
 
Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto www.P3tips.com to submit your tip via the web. For a secure and password protected mobile app for your smart device, go to the app store and download the free "P3tips" mobile app. No caller ID, no recorded lines, no tracking cookies, no saved IP addresses. Anonymity is guaranteed.

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