One Month Later, Victim’s Family Confirms Trust With Authorities, But Admits Lengthy Probe Causing ‘Extreme Pain And Grief’

One Month Later, Victim’s Family Confirms Trust With Authorities, But Admits Lengthy Probe Causing ‘Extreme Pain And Grief’
A memorial paddleout and celebration of life was held in Ocean City last July after Gavin Knupp's death. Another paddleout is planned for July 11 to observe the one-year anniversary of his passing. File photo by Campos Media

BERLIN — One month after a fatal pedestrian collision on Grays Corner Road near Berlin claimed the life of a local teen, more questions than answers remain, but the victim’s family is hopeful for closure soon.

Around 10:45 p.m. on July 11, a black Mercedes driving eastbound on Grays Corner Road, a service road of sorts between Route 589 and Glen Riddle Lane that runs parallel to Route 50, struck Gavin Knupp, 14, of Ocean Pines, and left the scene. Knupp was reportedly a pedestrian on the roadway and was returning to a nearby vehicle when the collision took place. He was transported to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The vehicle involved fled the scene and did not return. Local law enforcement conducted a search for the vehicle. Six days after the collision on July 17, the Mercedes identified as a possible link to the fatal hit-and-run collision was seized from a home in the Ocean Reef community near the airport off Route 611.

The vehicle, which had damage consistent with the collision investigation, was towed to the Maryland State Police Berlin barrack for further processing. In the month since the fatal collision, official details about a possible suspect or suspects have been scant as the investigation continues, but there has been no shortage of suspicion and innuendo in the local community that lost a popular rising freshman.

Knupp family attorney Neil Dubovsky said this week in a statement there have been no new details provided, and there is a growing sense of frustration in the case, but the family remains steadfast in patience and support for the investigation.

“While we continue to have full trust and confidence in law enforcement, the lengthy investigation into Gavin’s death continues to cause extreme pain and grief as we await accountability,” the statement reads. “We implore all of those involved or who have pertinent information to please cooperate fully in the investigation to help us bring the Knupp family some peace and comfort.”

In the days following the seizure of the suspected black Mercedes on July 17, more details began to come into focus on the incident and subsequent investigation although formal information remains scant. Law enforcement has identified a local 21-year-old as a person of interest and authorities continue to probe if he was behind the wheel of the black Mercedes in question at the time of the fatal collision on July 11. The suspect has not been formally identified and his whereabouts remain unknown one month to the day after the incident.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.