St. Pauls police ask public’s help solving hit-run-death that happened a year ago

Staff report

ST. PAULS — Police here are asking for the public’s help in solving a hit-and-run that left a 35-year-old Lumber Bridge woman dead more than a year ago.

Deena Strickland McMillian, of Church Street, was found lying on East Chapel Street about 6:15 a.m. March 15, 2019, according to the St. Pauls Police Department. The incident happened on a dark roadway.

St. Pauls Police Chief Steve Dollinger said the department is reopening the investigation.

“We’re just going to start, you know, from the ground up,” Dollinger said.

The police department issued a statement Thursday on Facebook asking for the public’s help.

“Police believe someone has information about this young woman’s death, which could help in solving this heinous crime,” the statement reads in part. “The family deserves closure and the St. Pauls Police Department is committed to helping them obtain it and to bringing whoever is responsible for this murder to justice.”

Police are hoping that leads from the public will be instrumental in solving the case, Dollinger said.

“We’ve been running up on leads, and now we’ve hit a brick wall,” said police Lt. Michael Seago.

There was no evidence on the type of vehicle that struck McMillian, said former Police Chief R. Thomas Hagens, who led the department at the time of her death.

“All we know is a car struck her and she is deceased,” Hagens said. “We have no idea of who it was. There were no paint transferred and no (automobile) parts on the side of the road.”

The police department received a call from a man who saw McMillian lying in the roadway as he was going to work, he said.

The State Bureau of Investigation assisted the police department in the initial investigation, Dollinger said.

Anyone with information about the case should call the St. Pauls Police Department at 910-865-5155 and ask to speak with Detective Bradley Rountree or Lt. Seago. Callers can remain anonymous.