ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been nearly a year since a family lost their son in a hit-and-run crash. He was walking on San Pedro near I-40 when he was struck and left for dead.
Jonathan Sturgeon loved math, sports, animals, and Superman. Kerry Sturgeon says he and his wife adopted Jonathan when he was a newborn. Despite a diagnosis of Asperger’s when he was 20, his father says he was exceptionally gifted at a young age, whether it was doing a quick math problem in his head at age 5 or coaching an NBA game from afar.
“Math was one of his greatest things,” said Kerry Sturgeon, Jonathan’s father. “He was a Superman guy. In fact, that’s one of our favorite pictures of him. He’s wearing a Superman shirt, he’s got his arms like this and he’s standing in a doorway.”
On July 14, 2019, Jonathan’s 36th birthday, his father Kerry got a late-night visit from the police. They told him Jonathan was hit by a car going 60mph on the southbound lanes of the San Pedro overpass between I-40 and Indian School Road. He was left for dead. By the time Kerry made it from Tijeras to UNM Hospital, there was nothing doctors could do.
“They said, ‘we need to have a talk’ and right there, I thought, this is not good,” said Kerry. “I got to see him for 15 minutes and he was gone.”
Police say the driver took off and there were no witnesses or nearby surveillance cameras. The only evidence found at the scene was a driver’s side headlight for a ’90s model Toyota 4RUNNER that had been painted maroon after the factory release.
“That’s pretty much that only solid information that we’ve had,” said Jessica Johnson, Jonathan’s cousin. “That’s the vehicle and that’s all that we know.”
Eight months later, many questions surround Jonathan’s death. His family says it’s hard to find peace.
“I was absolutely devastated. I was incredibly close with him,” said Johnson. “Still not having answers, the closure cannot, the healing and the closure, all of that can’t begin.”
Jonathan’s best friend is also frustrated that the investigation has stalled.
“They said because of limited information, they don’t know if there’s going to be a good chance of them finding anything,” said Chance Gearhart, Jonathan’s friend since the first grade. “I still pretty much struggle with it every day because of how tragic it was to such a great person.”
Jonathan’s loved ones say their only chance at closures and answers now, is for someone who know something to speak up, including the driver.
“We are not looking to get them in trouble. We are not looking to, even if they come forward anonymously,” said Johnson. “We’re not getting answers from the police, we’re not getting answers from anyone coming forward, nothing. They are our only hope.”
“It’s not bringing Jonathan back,” said Kerry. “But one of these days, I’ll get to see him again.”
Johnson says she will continue to fight for answers for their family.
“He felt, in life, like he didn’t matter when he did,” said Johnson. “For him, of all people to be robbed of us knowing what happened, like he doesn’t matter, that is the hardest thing for me as a person. He mattered a whole lot.”
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Albuquerque Police Department and they say there are no current leads for them to follow up on, and for now, Sturgeon’s case remains open. Meanwhile, his family hopes someone knows who owns the SUV and will report the driver, even if it’s anonymously.
You can submit a tip to Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers online or by calling 505-843-STOP. If it leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.