EVANS, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s been nearly seven months since Barry Moss was hit and killed in the Town of Evans.
The hit-and-run death has sparked outrage and unrest. Even though police say they know who hit Moss and left him for dead along the roadside, they do not have the evidence to prosecute the suspect.
But Moss’s tragic story has done some good and prompted new leads about a decades old case, with similar circumstances.
Susan Mazur was out for a morning walk in February 1986 when she became the victim of a hit-and-run. She died at the scene.
Now, thanks to the attention garnered by the horrible circumstances in Moss’s case, police may finally have the break they’ve been waiting for.
Mazur’s brother, Father Francis Mazur, better known as Father Butch, said he was somewhat surprised to receive a handwritten, first-class stamped letter, about a pickup truck. It’s a truck the anonymous author thought may have hit and killed Susan.
Father Mazur said the note described the color of the vehicle. The author wrote the truck had been sitting idle in a yard for years. They said it was never used, but was damaged and recently removed.
Police have been working to find the driver and the truck, ever since Susan was found in the snow on Delamater Road in the Town of Evans.
Lead investigator Sam DeJohn worked the case for years, before retiring in 2008.
“I remember it very well. I remember everything we did, all the leads that came in and followed up on them all,” DeJohn said.
Police believe Susan was hit about 8:15 in the morning. There were no witnesses and very little evidence. They know the driver crossed over the yellow lines, which left tire tracks on the ground.
DeJohn said through an investigation, they believe it was a four-wheel drive pickup truck with extended mirrors that hit and killed Mazur. The note described a similar truck.
“Any investigator will tell you that when you have cases of this magnitude and this serious, you want to solve these cases. When you don’t solve them, it plays on your mind. It haunts you,” DeJohn said. “This cause haunts me.”
DeJohn says it’s haunting because a killer is still out there.
It’s haunting for Evans Police Chief Ernie Masullo, as well. As a young officer, he was one of the first to find Susan, lifeless along the side of the road.
As chief, he keeps both the Mazur and now Moss files on his desk. Masullo says they’re now going over notes from previous investigators.
“[These cases] don’t go away. They remind me everyday of the unsolved cases,” Masullo said.
With both cases still unsolved, there are still so many questions. In Susan Mazur’s case, her family is moving forward.
“I think over a period of time 28 years, you got to let it go,” Father Butch said.
Investigators are now working with New York State Police, gathering more information about the truck and the truck’s owner, or owners.
Police say if they found the driver who hit and killed Susan Mazur, they wouldn’t be able to press charges. The statute of limitations has passed. Still they would have solved the case and give the family closure, Masullo told News 4.