Your help needed in finding suspect in hit-and-run that injured woman

Investigators are asking for the public’s help locating a man they said struck a woman in a Center Grove neighborhood with his vehicle and then left.

Since the crash on Aug. 7, investigators found the car and connected it to Richard A. Johnson, 19, through receipts, surveillance cameras in the area and text messages.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is now looking for Johnson, and asking for the public’s help. He is possibly in Morgan County, Sheriff Doug Cox said. He is facing one charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, a level 6 felony.

Linda Gaither was struck while walking in the Carefree North subdivision, and has had at least one surgery since. She suffered internal bleeding, a broken rib and leg, fractured vertebrae, collapsed lung, a brain injury and multiple cuts and bruises, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.

The force of the impact knocked her out of her shoes, and the vehicle that struck her left without stopping, police said.

Investigators collected surveillance cameras from the area and released an image of the vehicle, which a resident in the area said was parked at a nearby mobile home community.

Johnson, who owns the vehicle, told police earlier in the investigation he hadn’t driven the car in more than a week. But investigators found surveillance cameras showing him driving and stopping at a gas station. They also tracked him leaving work the night of the accident, and going into Carefree where Gaither was struck, the report said.

Relatives of Johnson also were texting about the accident, saying Johnson had been crying and was going to be in serious trouble, the report said.

Anyone with information on Johnson is asked to call the sheriff’s office tip line at 317-346-4654.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.