While police search for the driver responsible for the hit-and-run death of a Nashville father of three, the man's widow is working to pick up the pieces and provide for her family.
Marc Pullo's body was discovered off Harding Place in south Nashville Monday morning.
Police believe the 35-year-old was struck as he walked home from the nearby Walmart store the night before.
Pullo lived with his wife, Amy Walko, and their three kids in a small room at the Executive Inn, about a mile from where the tragedy took place.
With tears in her eyes and pain in her heart, Walko remembered her husband of 14 years. The two met while she was attending Penn State University.
“We met in front of a K-Mart in Leechburg, Pennsylvania in 1998. It was on Valentine's Day. We met through a mutual best friend. His best friend in high school was my best friend in college. It was instantaneous, it's a cliché, love at first sight, but it was,” Walko recalled.
“We've been through a whole lot in 14 years, but we never gave up, never stopped loving each other. He was amazing. The kindest person I've ever known. He'd give you the last dollar in his pocket, the shirt off his back.”
Walko says the couple came to Nashville after Pullo spent time at Ft. Campbell.
Walko, who works as a waitress, said Pullo was a stay-at-home dad, taking care of 11-month-old Jason, two-year-old Arisa and nine-year-old Shawn Austin, who Pullo was also home schooling.
“I'll miss his heart, his spirit,” Walko said. “He was the best dad I've ever known. He was walking [home from] Walmart. He always did that. His license expired, he didn't want to renew it and he didn't want to drive a whole lot. He'd say that was his only exercise and there's nothing wrong with walking and it was not that far.”
She continued, “He was coming home with the diapers and baby cereal for Jason and he never made it. The police knocked on my door at 12 o'clock. I'd been looking for him since 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. I called the hospitals and police department. He wasn't in the hospital and not in jail and that is unlike him. He would not, not come home. It's the worst thing. He'd never leave us. He'd never leave his children. They mean the world to him. His kids are his life.”
Harding Place, where the accident occurred, does not currently have sidewalks but they are reportedly in the works.
Metro officials say the money has been authorized and right of way acquisitions are scheduled to begin in early 2013.
Walko says it's too late.
“We've been trying to get a sidewalk over there for how long?” she asked. “He is not the first person to be hit over there. It's ridiculous. It is a common area to walk. It is tough for people to live over there. It's taking forever. We wanted it yesterday.”
Pullo's cell phone was lost in the accident and Walko says it is still missing.
She said she hopes someone finds it as it contains pictures and videos of the children. It's the last memories they will have of him.
“It is the one thing I really, really want,” she said of the black LG Optimus touch screen. “It has pictures and the kids on it and videos of him and Arisa playing and I really, really want that phone back.”
She continued, “I tried to find the phone [at the scene]. No tire marks, no nothing so whoever did this had not a regard in the world for my loving, wonderful husband.”
Walko's restaurant chain is reportedly helping with expenses of the funeral, but she says the kids need diapers, baby wipes and other necessities.
Both sets of grandparents were scheduled to arrive in Nashville Tuesday to help out.
Investigators say the suspect vehicle is either red or brown in color and may have damage to the right front and passenger side.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Metro police or Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.
- Sept. 10, 2012: Hit-and-run victim found off Harding Place in south Nashville