Parents of hit-and-run victim travel to N.O. to plead for tips

Parents of hit-and-run victim travel to N.O. to plead for tips
Josh Woodruff (Source: Facebook)
Josh Woodruff (Source: Facebook)
Car caught on video after accident. (Source: NOPD)
Car caught on video after accident. (Source: NOPD)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The parents of Josh Woodruff, the man who was hit and killed in the French Quarter and then dragged for miles across the Mississippi River pleaded for help Friday, speaking in person to the media for the first time.

"I'm Josh's Mom and I will always be Josh's mom," Caren Woodruff said at a Crimestoppers news conference. "And I would actually like to tell you how much we appreciate the public in New Orleans."

Just before he was killed, Josh made sure his mother and father knew how much they meant to him.

"He sent us a text on New Year's night that said, 'before I get going for the evening, I just want you to know how ridiculously thankful I am for you and how pumped I am for 2016.'"

It was only hours into the New Year, though, that Josh Woodruff's life was ended by someone driving what police believe was a 2012 or 2013 Toyota Sedan, and then dragged for miles. Police have mapped out the route the driver took and canvassed the area for footage of the vehicle. They have even pinpointed where the car was before the accident.

So far, however, there is nothing of significance - not even a license plate.

It's why his family is pleading for help.

"We know that there are people who saw the car," Mark Woodruff said. "From the video, we've seen people who've tracked it with their eyes. I'm assuming they haven't come forward because they don't think they saw anything helpful. Let the police make that decision."

Woodruff's parents said they're offering forgiveness if the killer surrenders.

"If you're the driver of that car, you need help, and the only way you're gonna get that help is if you turn yourself in," Mark Woodruff said. "We want to see this be redemptive for that killer, as well."

Now his parents can only remember Josh through the stories they hear and the years they shared.

"He had the ability to come into a room and light it up without bringing attention to himself, and he made people feel important, like they were valued," Mark Woodruff said.

"It will never be totally righted, we have to learn how to live without Josh, but your support has meant a tremendous amount, so I would ask you, just as the chief did, if you know anything or if you have seen anything, please help," said Caren Woodruff. "Please help us."

Crimestoppers, at (504) 822-1111, is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Callers do not have to give their names to receive the reward.

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