By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The State Patrol is asking for the public’s help in solving a hit-and-run crash near Lake Mille Lacs Friday night that killed a 10-year-old girl.

The chief of the State Patrol said 10-year-old Caylin Donovan may have walked up to Highway 18 to get a better cell phone signal.

The accident happened at about 8 p.m. Friday, a time when the normally quiet road was busy with people pulling boats and trailers. Because of Caylin’s small size, the State Patrol says it’s possible the driver may not have known they hit Caylin and their vehicle may have very little damage.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post, Caylin Donovan’s mother, Ginnie, pays tribute to her daughter and says this to other parents.

“Look at your babies, love them, put down your phone they have something to say. Oh my God LISTEN,” the post said.

That night, Caylin was visiting relatives who live just off Highway 18. The State Patrol is asking anyone who was in the area to come forward.

“Whether you saw Caylin before the crash, whether you saw the crash or whether you saw something suspect and you think in hindsight maybe that person could have been involved, we really urge you to call,” Colonel Matt Langer said.

The State Patrol has already heard from some people who were on the road heading to lakes and cabins.

Tony Stock, a former first responder, came upon the scene minutes after Caylin was struck. He and a nurse who also stopped gave Caylin CPR until first responders arrived. Stock said.

“It was horrible. I feel horrible for the family.” He added, “There was no pulse no nothing.”

The State Patrol says it is possible that whoever struck Caylin may have very little damage to their vehicle or possibly their boat or trailer. Colonel Matt Langer said,

“It’s possible that the driver may not have known what was involved or the gravity of the situation.” He added, “We want to know what happened to Caylin and we want to solve this case for her family.”

The State Patrol is asking anyone with any information to call (218) 316-3025.

Esme Murphy