It was almost ten years ago, that an Enfield teenager was killed after a hit and run. That tragedy rocked the Enfield community. As we approach the 10th anniversary of Johnathen Stewart’s death, his friends are reaching out to the public, hoping they can help police solve the crime.
“To me, he was like a brother. I was 15 when he passed away,” said Jeffrey Engleman.
For Jeffrey Engleman, time does not heal all wounds.
“It's been 10 years, and we just need somebody to come forward and give us that closure.”
Engleman lost his friend, Johnathen Stewart, on November 17th 2002. Stewart, who was 19 then, was walking along Route 5 when he was struck by a vehicle. The driver fled, leaving Stewart’s body in the cold for hours before he was found and taken to a hospital, where he died.
“He was a great kid. There are not many people in this town that can say a bad word about him,” said Engleman.
The Enfield Police Dept. said Stewart was struck by a red, 1987 Jeep Cherokee that sustained front-end damage. Investigators had offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. However, the case remains open and the person who took Stewart’s life hasn’t been caught.
The fact that the case remains unsolved is troubling to many in the Enfield community.
“I have a son his age, too. Certainly if he were struck down, you'd be paying the rest of your life,” said Tony Torres.
“It seems odd throughout all of this that they really have no answers as to what happened,” said Mary Torres.
Now, Jeffrey Engleman and other friends of Stewart are appealing to the public for help in solving the case.
“We need people to come forward. Somebody out there has to know what happened that night.”
“We will never stop looking for that person until they're brought to justice,” added Engleman.
A vigil for Johnathen Stewart will take place near the scene of the accident, along Route 5 and Fairview Ave., next month, on the 10th anniversary of his death.