Eight Weeks Later, Still No Arrest in Fatal New Year's Day Hit-and-Run

King County authorities say they are not at a dead end in the case of Lucy Pieczatkowski, killed early New Year's Day near North Bend in a hit-and-run incident.

King County sheriff's detectives know who owns the pickup truck that struck and killed Kirkland native Lucinda Fisher Pieczatkowski while she was walking along a road near North Bend just after celebrating New Year’s Eve. But eight weeks later, they are still not ready to make any arrest in the case.

“The investigation is proceeding. It’s still an open case,” said Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re definitely not at a dead end.”

The white, 1988 Ford F150 pickup truck that police believe struck Pieczatkowski, 57, was located at a home in North Bend the very next day, according to a search warrant affidavit detectives filed in King County Superior Court on Jan. 17. An attorney representing the family who owns the truck alerted police to the car and consented to let police impound it.

Detectives matched pieces of a plastic headlight cover found at the scene to the vehicle, according to the affidavit. In addition, small white fragments found by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office on the victim’s body matched the truck.

West declined to say whether an arrest was imminent, but said detectives are carefully working on the case.

“Of course we know for the victim’s family it’s an eternity,” she said. “For us, we want to make absolutely sure we do it right, that if and when an arrest is made, it’s the right person.”

“Lucy” Pieczatkowski, a 1974 graduate of Kirkland's Lake Washington High School, was returning home with friends early on New Year’s Day after celebrating at the Snoqualmie Eagles lodge. Sometime around 3 a.m. she left a car in which she was a passenger after an argument, and began walking. A short time later police and one of the friends found her in the ditch near the 10300 block of 394th Place NE.

Pieczatkowski was dead, and police found a “debris field” at the scene of vehicle parts and her belongings that indicated she had been struck by a vehicle that then left the scene. The medical examiner's office determined she had suffered multiple injuries from blunt force trauma.

King County detectives sought the search warrant in an effort to collect fingerprints and DNA that might reveal who was driving when Pieczatkowski was hit. “DNA genetic material can be left in a vehicle by its occupants as trace evidence during and after a collisional event,” detectives wrote in the affidavit for the warrant.

Pieczatkowski left an adult son, Erik Pieczatkowski, who told KING5 News two days after her death, "What we need for closure is for justice to be served."

For previous Patch coverage of the case, click here.


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