Breakthrough in Decade-Old Hit and Run Case Brings Closure to Family

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In an astounding turn of events from the 2008 hit and run incident that claimed the life of a young man, Fergus, Ont., a significant breakthrough came more than a decade later. The vehicle involved in the fatal accident was discovered concealed behind a false wall in a semi-trailer by the Wellington County OPP.

Recovered on September 21, 2022, from a property in Mapleton Township, the Dodge Neon was found just a few kilometers from the site of the heartrending incident where 18-year-old Lucas Shortreed’s life was abruptly ended 14 years prior.

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Following this discovery, arrests were made promptly. David Alexander Halliburton, 55, faced charges of failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in bodily harm or death, and obstruction of justice. His accomplice, Anastasia Marie Halliburton, 53, was accused of being an accessory after the fact and for disrupting justice. At this stage, the allegations remain unverified by the court.

To derive this new information regarding the case, officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) executed a search warrant on the property, acting on a public tipoff.

The elusive white Dodge Neon had substantial damage when found inside a disabled semi-trailer, hidden behind a false partition. Confirmations by the Centre of Forensic Sciences affirmed that this indeed was the fatal vehicle responsible for killing Lucas Shortreed.

Lucas Shortreed took his last steps on October 10, 2008, after leaving a party in Alma, Ont. While walking down Wellington Road 17, he was fatally struck by the vehicle in question that promptly fled the vicinity.

Despite the police’s early suspicions regarding the type of vehicle involved, the eventual discovery took long years. Over 100 leads were pursued in the span of 14 years, but none led them to the actual vehicle—until now.

The property searched on September 21, 2022, lay just a handful of kilometers away from the original crash site and even closer to where a billboard bearing Lucas Shortreed’s face once beckoned for justice.

The recovery of the car and the subsequent arrests brought a hard-fought sense of relief to Shortreed’s family, who dwelled in uncertainty for 14 years. His sister, Jenneen Beattie, confessed to the entire scenario being somewhat surreal, but expressed gratitude for finally having some answers.