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Police: Paint chips a clue in hit-run that killed Jamesport jogger

Police at the scene where a pedestrian was

Police at the scene where a pedestrian was fatally hit on Route 25 near Laurel Lane in Laurel at about 5:40 a.m. Thursday. (Jan. 16, 2014) Credit: Randee Daddona

A metallic-blue vehicle may have hit a Jamesport jogger in January and left him lying in the road, where he was later struck by two other motorists, Southold police said Thursday.

The Suffolk County crime lab discovered the paint on the clothes of James Callaghan, 49, who was pronounced dead at the scene Jan. 16, Det. Sgt. John Sinning said. That blue paint, which had a clear coat overlay, did not match either of the two vehicles whose motorists had stopped, he said.

"It was only a few microscopic chips," Sinning said.

Detectives have been trying to determine if he had been hit by a vehicle that left the scene or if he collapsed due to a medical condition.

Southold police said those paint chips are consistent with vehicle paint and want the public's help in solving what may be a hit-and-run case.

Callaghan regularly jogged early, and that foggy morning, he was lying on Route 25 near Laurel Lane when two motorists struck him about 5:45 a.m. and notified police, Sinning said.

"According to his family, he was healthy," Sinning said.

The medical examiner's office said the cause of death was blunt impact, police said, and no details on toxicology tests were immediately available Thursday.

"The only thing left to us is to determine why he was left on the road," Sinning said.

Anyone with information can call Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477 or Southold Town Police Department detectives at 631-765-2600.

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