Damaged Jeep Cherokee sought in fatal east-side hit-and-run

Casey Grove

A 25-year-old woman was killed early Tuesday morning near the Northway Mall in what Anchorage police are calling a hit-and-run. The driver fled the area moments after the East Anchorage collision, police said.

Police identified the victim as Geraldine Burns of Anchorage.

Officers are now on the lookout for a light-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee built between 2002 and 2005 -- likely with a damaged front end and left headlight -- that investigators believe struck and killed Burns, according to police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker. He wouldn't be more specific about the vehicle's color.

A passing motorist saw Burns lying on Penland Parkway and called police dispatchers at 3:18 a.m., police said. Arriving officers and medics tried unsuccessfully to revive Burns using CPR. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Parker said.

"Her body was found in the westbound lane," Parker said. "But when a person is struck, often the body goes some distance."

Investigators found "parts and pieces" of the Grand Cherokee, Parker said. No witnesses to the collision have been found, he said.

Burns lived at the nearby Penland Mobile Home Park with family members, including an uncle, the police spokesman said.

Burns' father, Whittier Burns, happened to be visiting Anchorage from the Northwest Alaska village of Noatak. But Whittier said he did not have a chance to see Geraldine or meet her new boyfriend before she died.

Whittier said his daughter, a mother of two, had lived in Anchorage four or five years.

"She was a very outspoken girl. She loved being out in the country, but she'd rather have a city life, where things were fast-moving," Whittier Burns said. "She'd call up and say, 'Hi, Dad, this is your renegade daughter. But I still love you.' "

"That's what I'm going to miss."

Anyone with information about the fatal collision is asked to call police at 786-8900.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.

Anchorage Daily News