Tragic Happenings

Meg Cameron - Killed by Hit-Skip Driver

12717 Lake Shore Boulevard
Reprinted from The Cleveland Press March 11, 1969

A month-long investigation by Sgt. Thomas Fitzmorris and the Bratenahl police today have apparently solved the hit-skip death of 10-year-old Mary Marguerite Cameron in the suburb on February 12, 1969.

Sgt. Fitzmorris tracked down the damaged hood of the suspect’s car, impounded it, and trucked it himself to the FBI’s Washington laboratory to round out the case.

Facts against the suspect, a 56-year-old Bratenahl neighbor of the Cameron family, will be presented to the County Grand Jury on Thursday.

The police sergeant’s thoroughness enabled the FBI lab to link paint flakes in the girl’s clothes and fibers of her clothing on a damaged auto hood to the subject.

Meg was on her way to a neighborhood store when she was struck.

Witnesses said the car was traveling at normal speed at the time of the accident but then sped from the scene.

Police sent the victim’s clothing to the FBI lab and were told it contained paint flakes from a 1965 Buick, champagne mist in color.

Patrolman George Wallo recalled seeing such a car in the neighborhood of the Cameron family. Police located the man, and he showed them his car in the garage.

The windshield was cracked, and the grill was damaged. The man said he had had repairs made to the hood at a body shop in Eastlake. The entire hood, he said, was replaced.

At the body shop, police found the old hood. Sgt. Fitzmorris impounded the badly damaged hood and drove it to the FBI lab in a panel truck. There, he reported fibers of the girl’s clothing were found embedded in the hood.

“It was a one-in-40 chance of finding the suspect,” said Sgt. Fitzmorris, 39, a member of the force for 15 years.

Immediately after the accident, we had a vague description of the car, a vague description of the driver – and the dead girl. Those were the clues. The whole thing was a jigsaw puzzle, but from the FBI lab reports, we were satisfied we had our man. Faces a possible traffic man

Of the suspect, Fitzmorris said, “Nobody knows how a person will react to such a circumstance. It would be a hard thing to live with the rest of one’s life.”

The suspect faces a possible traffic manslaughter charge as well as a charge of failing to stop after the accident, police said.

Reprinted from The Cleveland Plain Dealer March 12, 1969

Bratenahl police have linked a 56-year-old man with the hit-skip traffic death February 12 of Mary Marguerite Cameron and will present facts in the case to the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury tomorrow.

The man, who also lives in Bratenahl, is free pending Grand Jury action.

Police were led to him after an intensive investigation headed by Sgt. Thomas Fitzmorris, who took the damaged hood of the suspect’s car to the FBI laboratory in Washington for examination.

The study showed paint on the girl’s clothing to be the same as on the hood. Clothing fibers on the hood came from her clothing.

The 10-year-old girl was one of 12 children of Dr. and Mrs. Donald B. Cameron. Marguerite was on her way to a neighborhood store when she was struck.

An examination of the girl’s clothing by the FBI gave police the color, make, and model of the car that struck her. George Wallo, a Bratenahl patrolman, remembered such a car in the neighborhood of the Camerons.

The 56-year-old man was found by police. He showed them his car, which had a cracked windshield and damaged grille, and said the hood had been replaced by a shop in Eastlake.

Fitzmorris went to the shop and obtained the hood.

Reprinted from “The Cleveland Press” March 19, 1969

The Cuyahoga County Grand Jury today indicted Bratenahl contractor Kostas Gasparitis on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident in the hit-skip death of a neighbor girl on February 12, 1969.

Gasparitis, 56, of 313 Corning Dr. Bratenahl lives around the corner from the home of Dr. and Mrs. Cameron, 12717 Lakeshore Boulevard