Riverhead Town police know the name of the man who was hit by a car and killed Saturday night on West Main Street.
But finding his relatives has been a problem.
According to Det. Sgt. Ed Frost, who heads the detective division for the town police, the department’s policy is not to publicly release the name of someone killed in an accident until the next of kin have been identified.
“That’s our holdup right now,” he said. “We can’t make a notification about him being deceased without notifying the family, and we’re having a little bit of trouble locating them at this point.”
“The man was homeless, Det. Sgt. Foster said, and “it’s been hard to find relatives around this area, or that we can reach by phone.”
“When a person’s relatives are from another country, it’s difficult to find them,” he continued. “The person might have just started working up here by themselves. There are definitely people who come from other countries who have no next of kin in this country.”
The man was from Guatemala and had been homeless for some time, according to Det. Pat Waski.
He had been involved with Maureen’s Haven, which provides temporary shelter for homeless people, he said.
“If we don’t find anyone, it will be up to the medical examiner to determine how long to keep him,” he said.
Det. Waski said he’s “educating himself” on what happens in terms of funerals or burial if no relatives come forward. (In 2016, the News-Review published an examination of what happens in these circumstances).
The accident took place about 9 p.m. Saturday, near 957 W. Main St., which is near Weeping Willow Park.
Riverhead police responded to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a car, and found an adult male lying on the shoulder of the road, according to a police press release. The man had sustained serious head and body injuries and was not breathing, according to police, who began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance then responded and took the man to South Side Hospital in Bay Shore, where he later died.
“We’ve dealt with him in the past,” Det. Sgt. Frost said of the victim. “We’re confident who he is. We just try to do the right thing for the family.”
The driver of the car that hit the victim remained on the scene and has not been charged with any crime at this point, according to police.
Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to contact the Riverhead Police Department Detective Division at 631 727-4500, ext. 321.