‘He was my everything’: Family and friends fundraise additional reward money as three-year anniversary of fatal hit and run

EVANSVILLE, Wis. – William Church’s friends and family are hoping by raising additional reward money, someone with information regarding his death will come forward.

On November 17, 2018, Church was killed in a hit-and-run accident on County Highway M in Evansville. Church, who was 21, was walking home from a party late at night when he was hit near the intersection of M and W Hill Drive.

It hurts me still,” said his mother Robin Milbrandt. “He meant the world to me. He was my everything.”

Following his death, the Rock County Sheriff’s Office announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Despite the money, no arrest has been made. To this day, very little information is known about the crash itself. Milbrandt says she suspects if the car involved was damaged, the owner possibly could have had it repaired.

Everything’s unanswered,” Milbrandt said. “Someone’s life is worth more than $1,000. All were asking for is help, so the reward money is more than $1,000.”

On Saturday, dozens of friends and family celebrated Church’s life at Lake Leota Park.

Lake Leota was his favorite spot. If I could not find him when he was younger, this would be where he was,” Milbrandt said. “I feel connected here, when I come here. I feel he’s here. I really do, I feel like he’s here.”

When I first got here, we started just shooting stories about the old days and just reliving memories where Will was involved,” said William Church’s cousin Ethan Church. “That means a lot.”

The Church family has launched a fundraising effort (which can be found here) to try and help raise a larger reward, in hopes someone will come forward.

If you have any insight, If it’s just five words worth, you’ve got to give it out,” said Church’s childhood friend Dakota Ringhand. “You’ve got to think of his mom, his sisters, everyone. They’re the ones that most deserve it, because they lost their son, and nobody else knows what that means. It’s all about closure. Whoever that was, how would you feel if you lost your daughter, or mom, or that same thing happen to him or her? You’d be in the same shoes. If anyone knows, you got to give it out.”

For someone just to run someone over in the road, how can you even be okay with yourself and look at yourself in the mirror?” Milbrandt said. “You did the damage to someone’s brother, son and grandson. You did something to someone that meant the world to people, and everyone around him that was close to him deserves closure and justice.”

Anyone with information regarding Church’s death or the accident on 11/17/2018 is urged to call the Rock County Sheriff’s Office at 608-757-7911 or contact the Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636.