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Fri, March 22

Sheriff’s Office asks for public’s help in finding suspect in 2014 hit-and-run

Joy Erickson was headed to the Phoenix airport to fly to California for a visit with her granddaughter, Ingrid, when she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver Dec. 22, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Joy Erickson was headed to the Phoenix airport to fly to California for a visit with her granddaughter, Ingrid, when she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver Dec. 22, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office continues to seek information from the public about a 5-year-old hit-and-run incident that left a Prescott Country Club woman dead.

A news release from the YCSO notes that Joyce Erickson, a 70-year-old resident of the Prescott Country Club, was walking in the 1000 block of Old Chisholm Trail in the early-morning hours of Dec. 22, 2014 when she was hit by a vehicle.

Erickson was fatally injured and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives have since been working to locate the driver of the vehicle. The news release states, “The driver may not have seen Joyce, as she was wearing dark colored clothing and walking in the street when she was struck.”

A resident in the area reported that a vehicle made a U-turn in their driveway and then left. The driver did not remain at the scene or contact police to explain his or her involvement.

“To date, detectives have followed up on several leads and have reason to believe the vehicle is either a passenger car or a small Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV),” the news release states. “The driver may have been leaving the Country Club area on the way to work.”

Because of the low lighting in the area and the dark-colored clothing that Erickson was wearing, the Sheriff’s Office believes the incident was not intentional. “Detectives need the public’s assistance in locating the driver of the vehicle for questioning,” adds the news release.

The vehicle in question may have front and/or rear-end damage.

“Detectives also implore the driver of the vehicle involved to contact them immediately as they are truly interested in any explanation offered which would aid in understanding the circumstances leading to Erickson’s death,” the news release concludes.

Erickson’s daughter, Amy, told the Courier in 2014 the driver who struck Joy cut short a full life.

“She loved to travel — the more remote and exotic, the better,” Amy said. Her most recent airline job at World Airways took her to “exotic places — Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, and many more,” as she flew with U.S. military troops to bases around the globe.

Because she enjoyed travel, she took Amy on “some incredible mother-daughter trips,” where they “trekked through jungles, saw ancient ruins, shopped at the exotic markets, ate spicy foods, and visited temples.”

And Joy was a fan of the stage, too. “She loved musical theater and plays, especially ‘Chicago’ and the ‘Million-Dollar Quartet,’” Amy said.

But Joy found her greatest happiness in her first and only granddaughter, Ingrid, who is now 5 years old. “My mom was a little hesitant at first about being a grandma. She agonized over whether to be called grandmother, grandma, or something unique,” Amy said. “But when Ingrid arrived, all that melted away and she fell in love with her, and she became Grandma Joy. Ingrid and my mom had an instant connection. They had their own special games, secret jokes, and silly songs. Ingrid lit something up inside my mom, and she was the happiest I have ever seen her,” she said. “It breaks my heart that Ingrid will grow up without her Grandma Joy.”

Yavapai Silent Witness continues to offer a $1,000 reward to anyone who calls 1-800-932-3232 and provides a tip leading to the arrest of a suspect in this case. Callers need not give their name.

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