Friends reflect on young Sebring mother’s death

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Friends of a 22-year old mother of two said she would have called them if she was in danger and she never would have done anything to deserve what happened to her.

Questions are still swirling in the case of Kara Fay Hanvey, of Sebring, who was found dead in the grassy median on Highway 92 in Lakeland Sunday morning.

Her friends said Hanvey was building her life back up again after a tough time.

“I don’t want anyone to drive down this intersection and not know who she was and what happened here,” said Angela Hough, Hanvey’s friend.

They built a roadside memorial Monday, full of Hanvey’s favorite things and inside jokes, at the intersection of Reynolds Road & US 92.

“She thought outside of the box,” said Hough. “She was probably one of the best young mothers I knew and every time she came in a room, she’d light it up.”

A passerby reported seeing Hanvey’s body in the median at around 6:40 a.m. Sunday.

On the 911 call recording, he walks over to her body to check on her.

“I don’t know if she’s breathing or not,” he said at first. “No, she’s gone.”

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, when Hanvey was found dead, she had a broken leg and some minor abrasions.

Deputies are still trying to find out why the Sebring mother of two was in Lakeland and how she died.

“She didn’t get there by herself,” said Carrie Horstman, with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Before 5:30 Sunday morning, witnesses told law enforcement they say Hanvey waving down cars on the side of the road, not in the median. That’s where her belongings were found.

The Sheriff’s Office said the evidence does not line up with signs of a hit and run.

“[Traffic deputies] look for certain clues, whether you’ve been hit by a car or not,” said Horstman. “She doesn’t have those signs and symptoms on her. There was no debris from a car, which normally you have in a hit and run.”

The Sheriff’s Office is looking for witnesses to come forward who may have known about her whereabouts or seen something on 92 from 5:30 – 6:30 Sunday morning.

“How she came to be there in the first place, that’s what we’re looking for. We know someone saw something. We know someone knows something. We suspect someone’s responsible for her death,” said Horstman.

Hanvey’s friends say, she would have called if she needed help.

“The fact that she could have never done anything to deserve this is what aggravates me the most,” said Hough.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed Tuesday.

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