According to investigators, 50-year-old Johnnie Ray Pilkington of Garner was struck by an unknown vehicle traveling westbound on U.S. 70 sometime after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Police say at around 4:30 a.m., a driver saw Pilkington's body in a ditch on Highway 70 near Mechanical Boulevard. Pilkington was temporarily staying at the Suburban Lodge on Highway 70 with his fiancee, Angela Gonzalez.
"It makes me real angry. (It) makes me feel like whoever hit him is very cold-hearted because they killed a very, friendly-making person," she said.
Gonzalez said she was the reason that Pilkington was walking along Highway 70. Around 3:20 a.m., Gonzalez said she wanted a cup of coffee, so he walked to the Waffle and Pancake House where the two worked. He never returned to the Suburban Lodge.
Gonzalez later fell asleep. When she woke up a couple hours later, she went looking for her fiance and found police cars and crime scene tape.
Investigators combed the area for clues, but admit they have little to go on. There is no description of the offender's vehicle at this point.
"It's like they just took my best friend because I'm alone now because he was more or less my everything," Gonzalez said.
Authorities shut down two lanes of traffic while investigators searched through the crime scene.
If you notice a car with front-end damage or a broken windshield or if you were in the area of Highway 70 and Mechanical Boulevard between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, you are asked to contact the Garner Police Department at
or Crimestoppers at