‘It’s inhumane this happened to her’: Family identifies Cowichan hit & run victim as 17-year-old girl

CHEK

At 17, Leeann Joe felt happiest at Cowichan’s Stone Church, it was her hangout just steps from home, so the family of the fatal hit and run victim returned there on Tuesday to make a heartfelt plea for justice and the driver in her fatal hit-and-run to turn themselves in.

“She was my daughter,” said Joseph Joe II. “My first born daughter.”

“The family here is pleading with the community and for the one who did the hit-and-run to please come forward, to contact the Duncan RCMP and please turn yourself in because she was loved by many and she was a human being,” the victim’s aunt, Monica Joe, told CHEK News.

Leeann was excited to turn 18 in May, living with her mom when she was walking along the Trans Canada Highway between Sherman and Green Roads on Thursday, April 18, at 9:50 p.m.

According to her family, she was likely leaving the mall when she was fatally struck and killed and the driver fled the scene.

“It’s inhumane this happened to her,” said Monica Joe.

Monday, RCMP revealed that the suspect vehicle is a grey 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra, likely with front end damage to its driver side, and urged the public to report any vehicles matching this description to Duncan RCMP, as a grieving family comes to grip with everything they’ll miss about their girl.

“Everything,” said the victim’s mother, Christine James. “Her joking,” she added.

“[The] first night I couldn’t sleep. It was pretty hard for me,” said Joseph Joe II.

Tragically, Leeann was also a little sister of missing Cowichan man Ian Henry, who vanished nine years ago but has never been found.

“Whom we are still searching for and he’s been missing for many years,” said Monica Joe.

According to the victim’s family, Leeann had helped search for her brother from just 8-years-old on. She now leaves behind a close and large extended family in Cowichan Tribes, and will be laid to rest on Friday. Anyone with information about her fatal hit and run is urged to contact Duncan RCMP.

Skye Ryan

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