COLLINSVILLE — Police still are searching for the driver who struck and killed Anthony Connors, as 60 people gathered Monday by the ditch where he was found to remember him.
Connors, 22, lived in Collinsville and worked for a golf course in Edwardsville. According to Assistant Police Chief Tom Coppotelli, Connors hitched a ride home from work late Saturday night and told the driver he would walk the rest of the way from the intersection of Illinois 157 and Belt Line Road.
But Connors never made it home. Last seen at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Burger King at that intersection, he was found Wednesday night in a ditch 200 feet away, in a place where he could not be easily seen from the road.
The autopsy later showed injuries consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle, Coppotelli said.
Family and friends gathered at the place where Connors was found to remember him in a vigil.
After his mother died, Connors lived with Dawn Phinney's family for about five years. Her son, Gene Phinney, was Connors' roommate and reported him missing the day he was found.
"Whoever did this, I just can't fathom that you wouldn't make a phone call," Dawn Phinney said. "I hope they see this (cross memorial) and turn themselves in."
Gene Phinney said he considered Connors his brother.
Coppotelli said they believe Connors was struck by a 2004 to 2008 Ford truck or SUV, or a vehicle similar to it. The vehicle would have some right front-end damage. While a few tips have come in, he said so far none of them have panned out.
"Somewhere, somebody knows something," Coppotelli said. "They hit something that night and they told someone, or maybe they didn't know they hit a person. But this kid lay in a ditch for three days... We are searching for any help we can get from the public."
Anyone who has information about Connors' death is asked to contact the Collinsville Police Department at 344-2131, or Crimestoppers at 866-371-8477.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at 239-2507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.