The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department has had no success so far in finding the driver who struck and killed a woman Monday night in Midland.
The woman, identified as Rebecca Marteny, 51, was discovered lying on the side of the road near Golden Given Road and 106th Street Court East about 10:40 p.m.
Law enforcement officers have been looking for a vehicle with front-end damage.
Marteny, who suffered from mental illness, lived at an assisted living facility called Gibraltar Senior Living, located next to Franklin Pierce High School, about 1 mile from the accident site and on the other side of state Route 512.
According to Gibraltar’s website, the facility provides “a homelike environment” for people suffering from mild confusion related to dementia, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
At present, 44 residents are living at the facility, a Gibraltar representative said Wednesday.
Residents are free to come and go as they like, the representative said, and, during the few months Marteny lived there, it was not unusual for her to walk around the neighborhood.
He said Marteny was independent, “to a certain extent.”
“She was a wonderful person, and although she had mental illness she tried to live the best life that she could,” he said.
Marteny had a good sense of humor, he said, and made others laugh by making funny faces.
“She was a delightful person — very funny,” he said. “We truly hope that the person who did this horrible crime is caught and prosecuted.”
Marteny’s brother, Michael Danley of Neenah, Wisconsin, said Wednesday he was doing his best to control his anger over the situation, in part because he believes his sister was too mentally disabled to be allowed to walk around at night.
Marteny was originally from Neenah, Danley said, one of seven children.
“I’m not trying to put blame on anybody,” he said, “but she obviously wasn’t in the right surroundings. She’s from a big family here in Wisconsin, and we were all under the impression she was being better taken care of.”
Mostly, though, Danley is angry that the driver of the vehicle didn’t stop.
“The way I look at it, my sister was murdered,” he said. “If you hit something on the road, you stop and look. You don’t drive off. That’s just wrong.”
“Could there have been a different outcome if whoever hit her had stopped and got help?” Danley asked. “I don’t know, but there very possibly could have been.”
Anyone with information, including reports of vehicles that have front-end damage, is asked to call 800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips are anonymous and can lead to a reward.