Monday, February 13, 2017

Bryan Wrigley 2011 Vehicular Homicide Case Still Unsolved by St. Johns County Sheriff DAVID SHOAR

Thorough, sensitive, heartbreaking story of Bryan Wrigley 2011 Vehicular Homicide case by reporter Jared Keever. This case, like the 2010 Michelle O'Connell case, demonstrates how poorly served St. Johns County is by its crooked Sheriff, DAVID SHOAR. 
From the article, it appears that SJSO only looked locally, assuming the hit and run driver would stay in four counties.  Was FBI called in to investigate whether the suspect fled the state, conferring FBI jurisdiction for Interstate Flight to Avoid Criminal Prosecution?  SHOAR's brother-in-law, Commander Charles Mulligan, sounds inept.
If we had an honest Sheriff and not a politician, a particularly mealy-mouthed, malicious, mendacious, mean-spirited madman, we'd have solved those crimes.
 It's time for SHOAR to go out the door, preferably in handcuffs, escorted by FBI agents.

Posted February 13, 2017 12:02 am - Updated February 13, 2017 06:55 am
‘ME AND MY HUSBAND, WE BURIED A CHILD’: Mother still seeking answers 6 years after crash killed cyclist Bryan Wrigley

PETER.WILLOTT@STAUGUSTINE.COM A bicycle memorial marks the spot on County Road 214 where University of St. Augustine student Bryan Wrigley was killed by a hit-and-run driver while he was cycling. April will mark the six-year anniversary of his death.
Since the spring day in 2011 that a local cyclist and student was killed on a remote stretch of county road, fellow cyclists have gathered annually for the memorial Wrigley Ride in order to raise awareness of the crash and to honor the memory of 23-year-old Bryan Wrigley.

And that is just fine by his mother, who is still looking for answers in her son’s death.

“That’s a mother’s worst fear, when she has lost a child, is that her child is going to be forgotten,” Mandy Wrigley told The Record by phone on Thursday from her home in South Carolina.

Bryan Wrigley, a graduate student in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine, was on a ride the afternoon of April 13, 2011, when, shortly after 3 p.m., a westbound vehicle on County Road 214 crossed the centerline and hit him head-on near Poa Boy Farms Road as he was riding back to town.

He was killed instantly.

The driver of the vehicle didn’t stop and has never come forward to claim responsibility.

A brief synopsis of the crash on the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office website says the driver of the vehicle continued westbound.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan told The Record on Friday that investigators recovered part of a front bumper from the scene, and research revealed that the vehicle that hit the young cyclist was likely a blue Ford Ranger between the model years of 2001 and 2003.

According to the Sheriff’s Office website, a witness in the area saw a vehicle similar to that description and said the driver appeared to be a white male with dark hair between the ages of 18 and 21. The witness said the driver was last seen turning south onto County Road 13 from 214 and still had a bike wheel stuck to the truck.

Nearly six years later, Mandy Wrigley still wants to know who that driver was. That the person hasn’t been found certainly isn’t for lack of trying, though.

Almost immediately after the crash, Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida put up a $5,000 reward for anyone with information. Wrigley and her husband matched that to bring the reward to $10,000. A billboard company came to her with an offer to help get the word out, too.

“They offered to give me free billboard space if I paid for the vinyl,” she said. “So I did that.”

She gave — and continues to give — interviews, but investigators never got the information they were looking for.

The mother remains convinced, though, that someone has information that can lead to an arrest.

The investigation

Ultimately, she said, the responsibility of coming forward rests with the person that hit her son.

“I just think it is time to stand up for what they have done and own up to their mistake,” she said.

But she would urge anyone who has information to come forward and speak with authorities.

She even speculated Thursday that, if it was indeed a younger person who hit her son, that person’s parents may also know something.

Mulligan said that theory, while not outside the realm of possibility that investigators would explore, could only be characterized as speculation at this point.

“(There is) nothing of a concrete nature that shows us that path,” he said. “It’s one of those variables that, unless you know, you can’t really make that as a hard statement.”

Investigators, Mulligan said, remain focused on the parts.

“The parts told us a story,” he said. “Those parts were definitely involved in the crash.”

Mulligan said the investigators who initially worked the case created a list of every truck matching the description indicated by the parts and tried to track down every one of them in Putnam, Clay, Duval, Flagler and St. Johns counties.

“Pretty much any county that touched ours,” he said.

The witness who claimed to have seen the vehicle helps, but it can only get investigators so far.

“The individual spotting the vehicle potentially puts us in a timeline, but it doesn’t tell us where the vehicle went,” he said.

The possibilities of where it could have gone, though, grow as the years tick by.

“Obviously the longer a case goes on, the more difficult it can become,” Mulligan said. “We would have hoped by now that somebody would have found a vehicle.”

“(It) could have been taken multiple counties away to be repaired,” he went on. “(It) could have been abandoned in a lake, a pond, or a river somewhere.”

Mulligan said that after so many years it is often a phone call from a person connected to the case that can break it open for investigators.

By continuing to talk about the case, officials, and Mandy Wrigley, hope that someone’s memory may be jogged or someone may decide to talk.

“Many times, time changes individuals who may know something,” Mulligan said. “People who were once allies become foes and individuals will come forward and talk to law enforcement and that’s why it is so imperative that we keep putting these stories out.

“At this point, if someone knows something, obviously we want them to come forward and talk to us,” he said.

Wrigley Ride

The Wrigley Ride also helps keep the case in the public’s mind.

The ride was originally the brainchild of Heather Neville and her advocacy group VeloFest. This year, though, planning has been handed over to event director Kim Carney, who said she took it over so VeloFest — which remains involved — can focus on “advocacy and safety.”

This year’s ride will start and finish at Rype &Readi farm in Elkton. Riders can register for routes of various lengths, but all routes will take participants out to the crash site, where a “ghost bike” and memorial have sat for years.

“We are also providing rainbow ribbons so that the cyclists can tie a ribbon on the (ghost) bicycle,” Carney said.

Mandy Wrigley said she is glad that organizers still put the ride on every year. Not only does it bring attention to Bryan’s case, she said, it is also a fitting way to remember him.

“I think that it would be something he would be proud of,” she said. “Bryan was a caring and giving person — this would be something like he would do, if he was here, for someone else.”

Keeping it from happening to someone else is one of the purposes of the ride, Carney said.

A news release that Carney put out about the ride cites a 2015 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found that Florida has the highest rate of bicycling deaths of any state in the nation. At 0.57 per 100,000, the rate is more than double the national average.

“Memorial events like this are very important,” Carney said. “Our goal is to make it something that can be educational as well as raising awareness to cycling accidents all over the state.”


Bryan’s death has taken a toll on his family.

Although Mandy Wrigley has returned to Florida many times since he was killed, her husband, she said, has never been able to come back.

She offered to send pictures to The Record for this story and sent about eight. Some were of the crash site, one was of Bryan’s grave, but most of them were of him, just smiling, sometimes with family members and sometimes with a bicycle.

“I just wanted you to see my family,” she said, “and see what this person took from us.”

She said April and the anniversary of Bryan’s death is a hard time for her, as is December which, with Christmas, is a time for family and the month of Bryan’s — and his twin, Kevin’s — birthday.

While she said she cherishes “wonderful memories” of her son, she also spoke a good deal of her loss and the things she knows Bryan and his loved ones miss with him gone. The person who hit him, she said, should know about those things, too.

“I just think that this person needs to meet me and meet my family and just … see what a family he destroyed,” she said. “We are a close family and my two children were my parents’ only grandchildren. We’ve got a loss, we’ve got an empty seat at our family dinners.”

“Me and my husband, we buried a child,” she said at another point in the conversation. “An adult child, yes, but you are not supposed to bury your children.”

Although there is a tone of sadness and frustration — and maybe even a slight anger — when Wrigley speaks of her family’s loss, it also seems she is seeking reconciliation just as much as any retribution.

“I would like to open up a channel of talking about it with this person and them asking me for forgiveness,” she said. “We just need to know — we just need to know who did it and what kind of person can just hit someone and leave him on the side of the road.”

Those answers, she said, are more important to her right now than the length of any punishment a person might receive if convicted of a crime.

“Right now, at this point in time, coming up on six years, just having the answers,” she said when asked which was more significant to her. “And let me see — this person might just have made a terrible mistake and be full of remorse.”

Not knowing the why or how of the crash, though, she said, leaves her family with too many questions and keeps them from finding full closure. If the person who hit Bryan were to come forward, she said it would likely be better for everyone.

“It might ease their burden,” she said.

1 comment:

Warren Celli said...

We have a mealy-mouthed, malicious, mendacious, mean-spirited madman sheriff because we have a mealy-mouthed, malicious, mendacious, mean-spirited and over the top greedy business community (comprised of a multitude of state alcohol and tobacco drug dealers that have turned the city into an overly boisterous ever increasing crime ridden road side joint) that put him in power. Could Bryan Wrigley have been killed by a drunk driver? I am sure many MADD members might think so.

If you want justice for Michelle you must get out on Saint George Street and demand it with a BOYCOTT!

Crooked City!
Crooked Cops!
Don't Buy!
In Greedy Shops!