By Alex Fees
COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - Friends and co-workers of Anthony Conners, 22, gathered along Beltline at Route 157 Monday afternoon. They constructed a red and black cross near the ditch where his body was found last Wednesday.
Among them was Conners' grandfather, R.T. Abram of East St. Louis.
"It's amazing, the people who cared about him," said Abram. "We didn't have no idea; we didn't have no idea."
Collinsville police say Conners was the apparent victim of a hit and run. At the time his body was found, he had been missing for nearly four days.
Conners shared an apartment with Dawn Phinney's son.
"The apartment was probably a mile-and-a-half up," said Phinney. "So basically Tony pretty much walked. I gave him a bike to ride to work. He got a job up at Sunset Hills Golf Course probably 3-1/2 years ago. Half the people that are here are people he worked with."
Phinney said she believes Conners was struck by a car while walking home from work.
"He did his usual routine when he got off," said Phinney. "Call my son or me to come get him. He had a good phone list to call. And the times he didn't get a hold of us he would walk. And that's a good 8 miles, but for Tony, he would say, 'Hey, it's not a big deal.'"
Conners walked 8 miles home from work?
"Yeah," said Phinney. "So for the fact that one of his co-workers got off at the same time and gave him a ride, I'm sure he's saying, 'Just drop me off here.'"
Collinsville Police are searching for an early 2000s Ford truck or SUV with possible front end damage.
Those who gathered at the prayer service Monday left behind the cross they constructed for him. A sign attached reads, "Gone but never forgotten."
"To just hit someone and leave them there," said Dawn's daughter, Rachelle Phinney. "I just don't understand how anyone could do that. We want whoever is responsible to see that cross when he drives by here every day so he feels horrible for what he did."
Anyone with information on what happened to Anthony Conners is asked to call the Collinsville Police Department at 618-344-2131.