Hit-and-run victim’s father hoping for justice as deputies look for suspects

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 8:34 PM EST
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PALMYRA, Ky. (WAVE) – The nightmare still plays out in Jesse James' head.

On Monday night, he found his daughter, Chrissy Grimsley, 21, on the side of Martin Mathis Road NE in Palmyra, just yards from their home.

"When I got there, it was terrifying,” James told WAVE 3 News. "She had blood coming out of her eyes, her nose, her ears, her mouth. She was ice cold. She was wet. She had mud on her. And I was trying to pick her up, and I kept screaming at her, 'It's daddy, baby, it's daddy, baby. Wake up, wake up.'"

James said his daughter spent her life helping others. He remembered her as a shining light and someone who loved to give.

"She's my hero, and she always has been,” James said. “There was no stopping Chrissy. I mean, Chrissy lived to love and help. That was Chrissy in a nutshell."

Grimsley’s family is still waiting for justice as Harrison County deputies put the pieces together in a case county prosecutor Otto Schalk said is constantly changing.

"Evidence is very fluid, obviously,” Schalk said. “We alluded to that yesterday.”

New evidence led to murder charges against Christian Pittman and Samuel Smith. Schalk said the pair robbed Grimsley during a drug deal.

Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith said Grimsley suffered fatal traumatic brain injuries from the incident.

"During the robbery, Ms. Grimsley ended up on the vehicle, and then after a short high-speed time, she was flown off of the car, resulting in her death,” Schalk said. “Her body was partially on the hood, partially between the window, hanging on, trying to get back the drugs that had been sold.”

Marijuana is not what James is focused on. Instead, he’s fixated on the new Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates medallion in his possession, the symbol his daughter literally gave her heart to others.

“I’m extremely proud of her now,” James said. “There are four families right now today that get to love someone because of her.”

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