Liberty, NC -- Friends of a slain cyclist want a killer to come forward.
State troopers say a driver fatally hit 48-year-old Michael Pellegrino and took off. It happened on Highway 421 between Old Liberty Road and Troy Estates Road.
Someone spotted the body around 7:30 Sunday morning, but investigators don't know exactly when the crash happened.
Pellegrino's roommates said he often took long cycling trips - more than once to New Jersey, and last month to Knoxville, Tennessee.
Brian Marcum last saw his friend Saturday, when he headed for the beach from their Stokedale home. He wanted to go because he had never seen the North Carolina coast, said Marcum.
Trooper Matthew Mitchell said someone struck Pellegrino from behind. Mitchell is not sure whether Pellegrino was riding or walking his bike on Highway 421.
"I'm sure they knew they hit something," Mitchell said of the driver. "Obvioiusly it wasn't a deer. I mean for some reason they kept driving."
Investigators recovered pieces of broken headlight glass at the scene. They're using that to try to identify the vehicle that struck Pellegrino.
Trooper Mitchell also noted there were no skidmarks. He said that means the driver did not brake before or after the crash.
Mitchell said it appears the driver gradually veered onto the shoulder and struck Pellegrino.
His roommates hope someone will come forward with information.
"He was too good of a guy to die that way," said Marcum.
If you have any information about the crash, you can contact the highway patrol at 334-5500.
WFMY News 2