Police suspect hit-and-run in man’s death

Published 8:14 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Authorities are investigating the death of a 30-year-old Bay St. Louis man who appeared to be the victim of a hit and run crash.

Utility crews spotted Munson Voda’s body on the road at about 4 a.m. Saturday, relatives said.

Hancock County Coroner Norma Stiglet said Voda died from massive head, neck and chest injuries.

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The coroner said officials were assuming a hit and run crash killed Voda, but she said no final cause of death has been issued, and the investigation is ongoing.

“We have not found the person who hit him,” Police Chief Thomas Burleson said Monday.

Voda, who had been out in the Bay, left the Waffle House at about 3 a.m. Relatives said he turned down a ride home because he wanted to walk back.

Voda was found dead about 100 yards from his home. A check in his pocket had his name on it, which helped first responders find his relatives.

Elizabeth Lukes, whose husband is Voda’s cousin, said she hopes someone will provide police with the information they need to solve the case.

“We are at a loss,” Lukes said. “We can’t believe someone would hit someone’s family member and then have it in them to just drive away. We hope that someone knows something.”

Voda moved to the area after Hurricane Katrina, to help relatives get their homes back in order. He was an adventurous sort, who lived in a tent in a friend’s yard by choice. Voda arrived in South Mississippi after he kayaked here from Wisconsin after Hurricane Katrina, taking the Mississippi River most of the way.