Jennifer Dee Hester, 26, was returning to her home at Green Trails Apartments during the early morning hours of Feb. 12, 2005, from a night of celebrating her college graduation and her cousin’s birthday.

Little did she know it would be her last celebration.

Jennifer was killed when a vehicle ran over her in the parking lot of the apartment complex. According to her mother, Josie Hester, Jennifer had apparently tripped and fell or had passed out from drinking and was lying in the parking lot.

The man driving the truck claims to have not seen her or to have known that his tires had struck her head.

“We believe it might have been an accident, but he walked away and appeared to have no value for human life,” Josie said.

The man was reportedly no billed in front of a grand jury, which means the jury found there was not enough evidence to hold the man responsible, and to this day, no one has been tried for Jennifer’s death.

However, the Hester family still feels the void in their lives that Jennifer’s death brought them.

“It was devastating to us, and it’s still very hard,” Josie said. “It doesn’t go away. We still hope that someone will come forward with information that will re-open the case.”

Since the accident occurred in a private parking lot, it could not be treated as a hit-and-run case, according to Josie.

“They (Jacksonville police officials) told us they could not investigate it as an automobile accident because it happened in a private parking lot, so we had to prove homicide, which is much harder to prove,” Josie said.

With no evidence that the driver of the truck saw Jennifer lying in the parking lot, all the Hester family can do is wait — wait for answers to why someone they loved was taken from them so quickly, just as her life was beginning.

“(Her son) was her whole life, and she was always at school or studying,” Josie said. “She had very little time for anything outside of that, but this one time ...”

Anyone with information about this case may contact the police department at 903-586-2546.

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