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Crash victim found dead by family the next day

Questions surround police search that came up empty
Crash victim found dead by family the next day
Crash victim found dead by family the next day
Crash victim found dead by family the next day
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 27, 2020

REISTERSTOWN, Md. — A report of a hit-and-run accident on Interstate 795 on Monday night and yet another report minutes later, this time of a single vehicle accident where the fleeing driver, 33-year-old Marcus Nix III, apparently lost control of his van on the exit ramp to get onto Route 140.

Maryland state troopers found the crashed van, but could not find the driver.

“The area where the single vehicle crash occurred was searched extensively, not just by troopers, but by assisting Baltimore County officers,” said Elena Russo of the Maryland State Police. “They even sent out their helicopter using their infrared equipment and their spotlight and saw nothing.”

By the time Nix’s fiancee, Ashley Leonard, returned to the scene the following day, it was too late.

She says she found his body in a wooded area across the road from the crash.

“They should have known he was injured from looking at the vehicle and the scene,” said Leonard. “A lot of times you have adrenaline, you’re dazed, you don’t know what’s going on so you get up, you walk, you know, not knowing you’re injured.”

In fact, police say one 911 caller reported seeing someone walking near the crash seen on the night of the accident.

“All they did was show up at my house three times saying, ‘If he comes here call us. Contact us,’ and then they dropped off a stack of citations,” said Leonard.

Police say they’re certain their searchers and the helicopter covered the area where Nix was ultimately found on the night of the accident, and they’re awaiting the results of an autopsy in hopes that it provides some clue as to what happened.

For Nix’s fiancee, it’s less of a mystery, and now she’s left to explain to his five children how he died when no one could find him in time to save him.

“I really feel like it could have ended differently if they put more effort into searching and just didn’t give up,” said Leonard.

If you saw anything on the night of the crash or you have any information, which could help police, you’re asked to the Golden Ring Barrack at the number 410-780-2700.