Fulton (WSYR-TV) – Fulton Police have identified the man who they believe was behind the wheel on the Halloween night Carolee Ashby was killed in a hit-and-run in 1968.
They say Oswego County resident Douglas Parkhurst, 62, was driving a 1962 Buick Special when he struck the 4-year-old child
Police say that the statute of limitation has expired and no charged will be filed in connection to the case.
Ashby was crossing what is now called I-481 at Division Street in the city of Fulton with her cousin and her sister.
After the accident in 1968, police say they followed "hundreds" of leads. They say the leads were exhausted and the case went cold.
In 2002, then Fulton Police Chief Mark Spawn brought the case back to the public's attention. Even then, the statute of limitations on the case had expired, but police say they wanted to bring closure to the slain child's family.
Last year, the Fulton Police received a lead via the Fulton History Facebook page from a retired officer.
According to police, a witness who now lives in Florida told them a member of Douglas Parkhurst’s family asked her to say she was with him and his brother the night of the accident.
She refused, but she assumed the request was connected to the accident.
Police never confirmed the lead, but it led them to Douglas Parkhurst. He was initially interviewed in 1968 because his vehicle – a tan 1962 Buick Special – matched the description of the vehicle that had struck Ashby.
He told police that he had been in an accident, but that he struck a guard post in Volney.
Police said the damage was inconsistent with the impact of a guard post, but they never followed up on the interview.
Fulton Police have since interviewed all of the people who may have had information on Parkhurst’s possible involvement.
They eventually found the vehicle he had been driving the night of the accident abandoned in a field.
Police confronted Parkhurst and he admitted that he had been drinking the night of the accident. He told police his brother had passed out in the back seat.
He told police that he recalled striking something while driving through the city of Fulton the night of Oct. 31, 1968, but he believed at the time that it was an animal.
Parkhurst told police he now knows it was the 4-year-old girl, and confirmed that he misled police during an interview pertaining to the night of the accident.