April-lee Gillen: police follow-up Facebook plea

April-lee Gillen.

April-lee Gillen.

'I need help': hit-and-run victim April-lee Gillen's Facebook plea

April-lee Gillen in critical condition: police

Police are treating a Facebook plea for help from suspected hit-and-run victim April-lee Gillen as ‘‘a vital piece of information’’, but say it is too early to know whether the teen was injured in a targeted attack. 

The 17-year-old was found lying on Northcliffe Drive at Lake Heights about 1am on Sunday with critical head injuries, which police believe were the result of a collision with a car.

April-lee Gillen.

April-lee Gillen.

On Tuesday she remained in the intensive care unit at Wollongong Hospital as police renewed their appeal for information.

Inspector Steve Worthington said a Facebook message posted by April-lee shortly before she was found was ‘‘definitely one piece of information we’re still following up’’.

She wrote: ‘‘Phones on 1per cent walking from warrawong to berks [Berkeley] and some Asian guy just stopped me telling me to come home with him cause it’s safe and I need help wtf sos’’.

Lake Illawarra police Inspector Steve Worthington addressed media on Tuesday regarding suspected hit-and-run teenager April-lee Gillen. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Lake Illawarra police Inspector Steve Worthington addressed media on Tuesday regarding suspected hit-and-run teenager April-lee Gillen. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

On Monday the message was reposted to a Facebook page calling for justice for April-lee Gillen. 

However the page – in which another person wrote that neighbours had provided ‘‘vital video surveillance of the event’’ to police, and that ‘‘this low life scumbag will be caught and sent to jail’’ – has since disappeared. 

Insp Worthington said police had seized CCTV footage from the intersecting Lake Heights Road, and were reviewing it in search of April-lee, who has long, brown hair. 

She was wearing cream-coloured cargo pants, a khaki-coloured jacket and brown sandals and was carrying a black handbag when she was injured.

April-lee was walking home from her boyfriend’s house, located a short distance from her home, when she was injured.

She was discovered by a passing stranger, who phone an ambulance.

Insp Worthington said April-lee’s family were too distraught to address a press conference on Tuesday. 

The teen’s older sister, Kimberley Gillen, took to social media to ‘‘thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers regarding April-Lee’’. 

‘‘I have been overwhelmed with inbox’s and messages of support ... Thankyou from the entire Gillen family, we are staying positive.’’ 

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