Police need help to find driver who killed bicyclist in Columbus

Crime Watch 8

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Police are investigating a hit-and-run that happened on 11th Street between Chestnut and California streets on Sunday night.

They identified the victim as 21-year-old Kyla Merri Ortlieb.

Officers told News 8 they arrived to the scene after receiving several calls from neighbors who heard a loud crash. Ortlieb was found dead in the street.

“My head just doesn’t know how to think right now about it because it’s so horrific. How can someone do such a thing and then drive away?” said Rita Gabriel, a nearby neighbor.

Police said they located a sport-utility vehicle nearby. It had heavy front-end damage, but the driver ran off.

“We have received a number of tips and information that our detectives have been working on nonstop for over 20 hours now and we called in ample resources overnight and another shift of detectives is working on the case right now,” said Lt. D. Matthew Harris, public relations officer for the Columbus Police Department.

The victim’s mother, Merri Ortlieb, shared photos of Kyla with News 8. She said Kyla was riding her bike home from work on the night she was killed. She also mentioned that Kyla was a very sweet young lady, loved nature and always rode her bike with a reflector.

Kyla Ortlieb of Columbus, Indiana. (Photo Provided/Merri Ortlieb)

Many people said 11th and Chestnut streets is a busy intersection and can be dangerous for cyclists and walkers. They hope this tragedy doesn’t happen again.

“Me being an avid bike rider, now it worries me because I’m on it everyday. My risk is higher,” Timothy Duham said.

Anyone with information was asked to call Columbus Police at 812-376-2600.

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