Hit & Run not forgotten: Prayer vigil honors Reserve woman killed in 2009

Published 12:10 am Saturday, October 8, 2016

LAPLACE — The mood is going to be somber Friday when friends and family of Dionne P. Gant-Duhe gather at the scene of her death to keep her memory alive, as well as hope for a resolution in her unsolved traffic fatality.

It’s been seven years since Gant-Duhe, 36, was killed Oct. 14, 2009, while crossing Airline Highway near Belle Point Road in LaPlace.
Louisiana State Police said the collision occurred at 5:45 a.m. and most likely involved a dark colored 1994 to 1998 Ford Mustang striking Gant-Duhe. Authorities said the vehicle sustained front-end damage and proceeded on without stopping following the fatal impact.

Dionne P. Gant-Duhe

Dionne P. Gant-Duhe

State Police Spokeswoman Melissa Matey said the wreck investigator followed multiple leads, checked numerous databases for Mustang information and conducted several interviews but was unable to develop a suspect.

She said troopers are continuing to follow up on new evidence, adding anyone with information about the wreck is encouraged to call Louisiana State Police.

Necohle Stanton, Gant-Duhe’s aunt, said the vicious nature of the collision has been difficult for family members to process.

“If the person had stopped just to see about her, it wouldn’t be so bad, but they hit her, kept going and never looked back and they left her in the street to die like a dog,” Stanton said. “It’s very important we find justice. I worked with Crimestoppers, the State Police and the local Sheriff’s Office. We have been pushing this, keeping her name out there since it happened. She didn’t deserve it.”

Stanton and Gant-Duhe were only separated by nine months and grew up as best friends, spending much of their time together.

Stanton said Gant-Duhe was sweet and kind-hearted, never saying a “cross word” about anyone.

Gant-Duhe enjoyed spending time with her family, attending church functions and shopping, an all-time favorite, according to Stanton.

“She was mostly just a family person who loved to be with her family,” Stanton said. “That is what we did, we all hung together. She didn’t have any kids of her own but she was a mother to all of our kids. I had a daughter that she helped raise and take care of. It is a big loss to the family.”

Stanton said family members have spent years posting signs and flyers, while also putting out crosses, only to routinely find their work torn down or damaged. The consistent vandalism has left many wondering if the driver is a local resident.

“It’s been a burden on us because we’re constantly wondering who did it?” Stanton said. “Is it somebody right here who is looking at us on a daily basis and knows they did this? Is there somebody who knows the person and is still afraid to tell it?”

Family members welcome those in the community to join them at 5:30 p.m. Friday on the corner of Belle Pointe Boulevard and Airline Highway for a candlelight prayer vigil and the pursuit of answers.