Mother of hit-and-run victim's emotional plea

- Cynthia Persley had envisioned a very different Christmas and holiday season than the one she is now living.

On Christmas Eve, she lost her only son, Joseph, who she affectionately called “Joey,” at the hands of a hit and run driver.

“This is something I would never wish on any mother,” she said, “But you don’t want to let go of your final moments. I thank God that I had the opportunity to love my son and be there with him no matter what."

Henry County police say the 28-year-old was out walking, between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., when he was fatally struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Highway 155 and Highway 42 in McDonough. The driver left the scene.

Detectives say it’s possible the driver didn’t realize they hit Joseph, but Mrs. Persley doesn’t believe it.

“At that time of the morning, there’s just no way…this time of the year, there’s a lot of traffic and people are going back and forth…I just cannot see no one noticing or seeing that,” she said.

Mrs. Persley is appealing to the public and the driver to come forward and do the right thing.

“They have to be going through a hell that I don’t want to be a part of," she said. "Because …to hit my son in that way, I don’t want to imagine that…that has to be devastating in itself. I just want them to turn themselves in because it’s done.”

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