Family Voices Suspicions in Daughter's Death

By: Lisa Ferrari Email
By: Lisa Ferrari Email

May 20, 2007

A family who lost their daughter in an apparent hit-and-run accident continues to search for answers and are now raising some suspicions about their son-in-law.

Justine Abshire’s mother and father made a plea for information. “We really want to appeal to the public and get to the truth of what happened on November 3rd,” said Justine’s father Steven Swartz.

It was around 1 on a Friday morning when 27-year-old Abshire was killed on Taylorsville Road in Orange County.

The elementary school teacher's car broke down, and she had called her husband for help.

Eric Abshire told police he arrived to find his wife's body in the middle of the road several hundred feet from her broken-down car.

Justine's parents say it just doesn't make sense. “It was dark. It was cold. She got out of her car and walked down a road?” asked Heidi Swartz, Justine’s mother.

Justine's keys and purse were found inside her car, the trunk of the car left open.

“It is pretty hard to imagine being in a quiet rural area like that and not realizing a car was coming,” said Justine’s father.

One of the biggest mysteries is why she was even out that night. Justine had been sick, and it seems she left home without a coat.

“Eric has told us he was the last person to see her; that they had this disagreement, and she left the house and then he was the first person who found her,” said Justine’s mother.

To clear their suspicions, they asked Eric to take a polygraph; he refused.

“Somebody killed our daughter that night, and we want to know who that is and have justice for our daughter,” said Stephen Swartz.

The Swartzes say they just want to know the truth. That's why they announced a $50,000 dollar reward last week. They hope someone will come forward.

Investigators told us they have not ruled out Eric Abshire or anyone else as a suspect, and they have not ruled out the possibility this could be something other than a hit and run.

If you do have information about Justine’s death, you're asked to call Agent Mike Jones of the Virginia State Police at 540-829-7760. You can also visit or send a confidential email to

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