OAKHURST–October 7 marks the three-month anniversary of the hit-and-run death of Oakhurst resident, Eben Hammond, plowed down by an SUV as he walked with friends along School Road.
Someone knows something. Someone has seen a vehicle with major damage that appeared suddenly on or after July 7, 2021. Nothing can restore Eben to his family and friends, but identifying the person who killed him will help to bring closure to his loved ones.
Two different descriptions of the vehicle have been offered: The friends who were with Eben when he was struck described the vehicle as a larger SUV, possibly a Jeep or Toyota 4Runner, dark in color, with round yellow headlights in the front and rectangular taillights. The second description indicates that the vehicle of interest could resemble that of a smaller SUV, station wagon or crossover-type and could be white, silver or possibly two-toned.
Expect either vehicle to have extensive windshield and hood/front damage, and surely friends or family of the driver would have noticed that. Did they not question it? Is the vehicle hidden in a garage somewhere? Is it buried among bushes at the back of someone’s property? Gone to a chop shop?
Eben’s godfather, Matt Sconce, is determined that Eben’s killer be brought to justice. He has been instrumental in getting the word out via social media along with grassroots efforts to locate that person. Matt organized a candlelight vigil, held on September 7 to keep Eben’s memory alive and fresh in the minds of local residents and beyond.
Matt believes that the driver is either a local resident or acquainted with local residents, and someone here knows about the vehicle or the driver. If that’s you, it’s imperative that you come forward immediately. Sheltering this individual makes you an accessory to the crime.
Think back to the night of July 7 and the days followings. Do you recall seeing something a friend or relative acting odd—especially nervous or anxious? It is possible that somebody knows and doesn’t even realize it. Think about it.
- Did someone go out and not come back until early morning?
- Did someone start driving a different car after July 7 for a while?
- Did somebody’s car vanish for a few days or forever after July 7?
- Did somebody’s personality change after July 7?
- Did someone call in sick on July 8, it felt odd?
- Did somebody bring a car to a body shop for repair claiming they were in some sort of animal impact accident around that time?
Anything could be the clue that leads to the resolution of this case. If you suspect something, you can report while leaving your name out of the investigation. Call Crimestoppers at 559/498-STOP. You can also directly call CHP investigators at 559-658-6590. If money is a motivation, Matt is working toward a sizeable reward to locate Eben’s killer.
“We have raised about $6,000 so far for a reward, Matt says. “What we really need is about $4,000 more. We want the reward to be significant so that we can use it to advertise the fact that somebody knows. It will let them anonymously let Crimestoppers know. That way, there will not be consequences to them for knowing and telling from the person responsible.
“It hurts my heart and the heart of all of the family that somebody could do something like this and kill such a kind soul and not have justice done. There is no closure. It’s a gaping hole in our souls, There is no closure. It’s a gaping hole in our souls as well as the souls of all the people who loved him.”
How you can help, even if you don’t have information:
Contribute to his GoFundMe account.
Watch for events to honor Eben, such as the candlelight vigil held on September 7.
Eben must not be forgotten.