After five months, Howard County police are still searching for the driver of a vehicle who struck and killed a 17-year-old girl on Halloween and fled the scene. Investigators are asking for the public’s help and offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information.

Nursen Esabel Akinci, of Columbia, was struck by an unknown vehicle traveling eastbound on Route 108 just east of Phelps Luck Drive in the early morning hours after Halloween, around 1:36 a.m. on Nov. 1. Police believe Akinci stopped her Honda Civic on northbound Phelps Luck Drive at Route 108 and she and another teen exited the car to run across the road to a Royal Farms store. Akinci was struck; the other pedestrian was not injured. The striking vehicle fled the scene. Akinci died at the hospital as a result of her injuries.

Investigators conducted a detailed search and have canvassed the area in search of witnesses or surveillance video that may have captured the collision, but have not located anything that could aid in identification of the vehicle or its driver.

Anyone who sees or knows of a dark-colored sedan, small SUV or crossover vehicle that has or had front-end damage, including the driver’s side headlight, is urged to contact police at 410-313-STOP or, and note the license plate if possible. Investigators are asking area body shops to contact police if they recall repairing a vehicle matching this description in late 2020 or early 2021. The investigation is ongoing.



Scott E