PASADENA, Md. - Last anyone saw her brilliant smile was Aug. 18, 2013.
It was that night when her family knew something wasn't right; phones were dead, there were no call backs, no texts.
First came the missing person’s report the next day, then a day later someone did find Samantha Kreppel.
"They couldn't verify it yet because of the autopsy,” wept Marian Kreppel, Samantha’s grandmother. “But my son knew, my niece knew. I knew.”
A grandmother always knows.
She knew that the body a passerby saw in the brush along the side of Bayside Beach Road in Pasadena was her granddaughter Samantha.
Anne Arundel County Police would determine Kreppel was struck in a hit and run.
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- Goucher student killed in hit and run
Getting hit that night was the cause of her death, but why and who struck her still haunts her family.
"I don't know how he can live with himself,” Kreppel said.
Hard because like so many others this hit and run remains unsolved; a tip in this case hasn't been fielded in months.
“The longer the time lapse, the more difficult it becomes."
Anne Arundel police Cpl. Chuck Dalton has been actively working the Kreppel case since last August.
Piecing together a shattered turn signal at the scene, he was able to determine police were looking for a 1981-1991 Mercedes 126 class type chassis.
It was a break that only took police so far.
"Initially we had a lot of leads,” Dalton said. “There were a lot of follow up investigations with different people associated with her. We've exhausted all those leads, we were getting some crime stoppers tips in the beginning and some different phone calls through communication but we haven’t received a tip in quite some time now.”
It is the same case with some of the increasing amount of hit and runs in Anne Arundel County.
Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County all show an overall increase in the crime.
Samantha's case is part of 2013 stats which the state told us this week wouldn't be finalized until late this year, but anecdotally police in Anne Arundel feel the trend may continue.
"It is extremely frustrating. I mean I try to treat every case that I handle [as if] it is my family member and give them the same service and you can't give them any closure until you can solve it and the hit and runs are even worse," Dalton said.
But the Kreppels are fighting back.
Nearing the grim year anniversary of Samantha's death, the family is trying to kick start memories.
They've scheduled a fundraiser through a local Chick-fil-A in early August.
Every sale accompanying a flyer the family will produce earns 10 percent toward increasing the Crime Stoppers reward money.
If morals or a conscience doesn't compel a tip, the family's thought is maybe money will.
"I have a bunch of her friends and family emails and we are going to email them and they are going to print them out and start passing them out to everybody we know that will take one pretty much," said Samantha’s sister, Shanon Kreppel.
The goal is to sweeten the pot and generate something; just some fact, memory or piece of information.
A thread for Dalton and police to pull and unravel the mystery of who hit and killed Samantha Kreppel in August 2013
The fundraiser is scheduled for Aug. 6 at the Pasadena Chick-fil-A on Jumpers Hole Road.
The family is hoping to raise another five thousand dollars to tack onto the existing Crime Stoppers reward.
If they raise even more, the family would like to donate the money to St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The donation would be in Samantha's name because of her love to help and care for children.