Southampton Town Police are hunting a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a beloved nun who was killed in Water Mill this week. They’re asking that he does “the right thing” and turns himself in.
“We know who we’re seeking and we’re just appealing for him to turn himself in,” Southampton Town Police Chief William Wilson told the Press. “I have all investigative resources dedicated to taking the suspect into custody.”
Police have the name and photographs of the suspect who officials said killed Sister Jacqueline Walsh of Syosset while she was on a retreat with her colleagues from Sisters of Mercy, a Roman Catholic order, which devotes itself to serving women and children.
Wilson would neither identify the suspect nor say where he lives.
The police chief suggested that if the suspect doesn’t surrender or if he isn’t taken into custody in the near future, that the department will consider releasing his name and photograph to the public, but he said there’s no timetable on when police would take that step.
A 911 caller reported finding Walsh bleeding and unresponsive on the ground on the side of Rose Hill Road on Monday, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wilson said nobody witnessed the hit-and-run. An unoccupied 2009 Volkswagen Touareg with front end damage was found about a half a mile from the scene, police said.
Wilson is hoping the suspect will turn himself in so police can bring closure to Walsh’s family and her congregation. She served at St. Edward Confessor Church in Syosset.
“No good is going to come of the individual fleeing or evading law enforcement,” he added.
Multiple agencies are assisting Southampton police in the search for the suspect, including the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, New York State police, U.S. Marshals Service and the Suffolk County Crime laboratory.
“This is a group effort,” Wilson said. “Everybody has different roles that they’re playing and … we’re working very closely with all of them to make sure this is handled as meticulously as possible.”
The church announced that a wake will be held from 2-8 p.m. Friday. A funeral mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.