It’s tough to be patient, but it’s needed with the investigation into the death of Gavin Knupp, a 14-year-old Ocean Pines resident who was killed on Grays Corner Road in a heinous hit-and-run collision. We need to look no further for an example of poise and perspective to follow than the Knupp family, which has shown incredible fortitude in the face of an unthinkable tragedy.
The Maryland State Police Crash Investigation Team is working through the case and most likely concentrating on presenting a clear statement of facts that can result in criminal charges. The particulars of the case make inferences and assumptions easy. It would appear the motorist fled the scene of the collision because he or she had been drinking and feared the consequences when police arrived on the scene. What’s unexplainable is why the 21-year-old suspect of interest did not turn himself in or why family members did not insist on ownership of the situation.
The family has an attorney and the three suspects – the motorist, his mother and the mother’s boyfriend – are also working under the guidance of legal at this time. All the while police work to provide clear answers to many questions.
Some we have include: Did the suspected motorist flee the country to a location where there is no extradition? Was there a coverup attempt made? Why would a restaurant company issue a bizarre statement clearly implicating a partner and at minimum confirming his involvement in some aspect of the case? Was the statement part of a legal strategy to get the case kicked to another county? How come it took place almost a week to find the vehicle in the fatal hit-and-run? Were investigators asking people at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club last week to confirm the suspect left there on the fateful night? How long will this investigation take? Does the claim of special treatment toward those being investigated have any merit?
In time, the answers to these questions and more will be known, but it seems to be a long game situation. It will require tremendous poise, restraint and patience from a grieving community. Casting aspersions and conspiracy theories at the police investigative unit or individuals involved is not helpful for anyone but the need to know is difficult to contain for all of us.
We all can learn a lot in this instance from the Knupp family, which has expressed twice in statements confidence in police. The latest being, “We also want again to thank our local law enforcement authorities for their untiring efforts to bring those responsible for Gavin’s death to justice.”
If they can be patient and supportive of the police work, the least we can do is model the same approach of appropriate restraint.