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Reward upped in hit-and-run death of Orchid Island man

STORY BY RAY MCNULTY (Week of March 5, 2015)
Photo: Peter Meyer

Friends of Orchid Island winter resident Peter Meyer, who was killed in a yet-unsolved, hit-and-run incident Jan. 4 in Savannah, GA, have increased to $125,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

The $25,000 increase was announced last week on what would've been Meyer's 73rd birthday, just days after Savannah police determined the speeding truck or SUV that struck him – a 1999 or 2000 Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe or Suburban – was red.

Police initially believed the vehicle was white, but, according to Meyer's daughter, Deb Cohen, forensic tests on her father's clothing revealed it was red. The vehicle would have incurred damage to its front-right side.

"It was very sad that my dad's birthday came and went, and we still don't know who killed him," said Cohen, who lives in Virginia. "But with this new information and the increased reward, maybe someone will come forward.

"As of now, there are no witnesses, but the police have investigated every lead and they're still working the case."

Cohen said she believes "whoever did this, knows they did it," and she's hoping driver's conscience will make it impossible for him or her to live with the guilt and surrender to police.

"Otherwise," she said, "we might never know exactly what happened and get the closure that will help us heal."

Meyer's family initially offered a $10,000 reward. A week later, his friends and neighbors at the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club increased the amount to $100,000.

Cohen said the latest increase came from "friends all across the country, including some he worked with at Merrill Lynch."

Meyer was a 1964 West Point graduate who served in the Army's Airborne Rangers during the Vietnam War, received the Bronze Star and reached the rank of captain before embarking on a successful, 31-year career with Merrill Lynch.

He retired in 2000, when he and his wife, Phyllis, began spending winters at Orchid Island. He was an avid golfer who also was a member at Quail Valley.

According to Cohen and police, Meyer was driving from his Vermont home to Orchid Island when he stopped for the night in Savannah. He had walked across Abercorn Street, near the Twelve Oaks Shopping Center, to have dinner and was struck at about 9:30 p.m. as he returned to his midtown hotel.
Meyer's body was knocked into some roadside bushes and wasn't discovered until 10:30 p.m.