Police in Jacksonville are looking for a black Toyota Tacoma, possibly an SR5 Sport model, with heavy right front damage to the headlight area in the hit-and-run death of a 55-year-old Jacksonville woman Tuesday night on the Northside.
Paula Abdullah was walking home from work, heading down New Berlin Road when the truck hit her at about 10 p.m. and kept going. Her body was found Wednesday morning.
Abdullah's family was preparing to celebrate this coming Mother's Day and is instead planning their mother's funeral.
"I wake up and keep telling myself, 'This is a dream. It can't be real.' And I hope they catch the person who did this, but I just hope this is a dream," said Sharifah Abdullah, Paula's oldest daughter.
Sharifah's world was turned upside down early Wednesday morning when she received a call that her mother had been killed in a hit-and-run.
"The last text message she sent me was that she was off for Mother's Day and we were going to go to church and maybe dinner, and now we can't even do that," Sharifah said. "It's just so sad."
Paula Abdullah was three minutes away from her house off Old Berlin Road when she was struck and killed. Family members said it was unlike Abdullah to walk home from work rather than catch a cab or a ride from a friend. Now her family is left with many more questions than answers.
"I never thought I would have to bury my mom, not now, not me," Sharifah said.
Paula Abdullah has four daughters and one grandson who don't know what they are going to do without her.
"You took away a mother and a grandmother, sister and a friend and a daughter from people who really, really, really need her and love her and care for her," daughter Sakinah Abdullah said. "You really changed people's lives for the rest of our life. Our lives are changed forever. Our lives will never be the same. Never."
Anyone with any information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.