'Come forward so we can let Ari rest': Canmore family appeals for fatal hit-and-run information

The parents of a Canmore woman killed along the Trans-Canada Highway on the morning of her 20th birthday are pleading for the public's help. 

Ariana Blackwood was walking home from a night out Sunday morning when she was struck and killed by a passing vehicle. 

The vehicle's driver has not yet been identified. 

The Blackwood family is hoping someone in the area either knows -- or saw -- something. 

Blackwood was with her sister celebrating her birthday on Saturday night. At one point while leaving the bar Sunday morning, the pair was separated. 

Mounties have pieced together footage from home and business security cameras that show her walking shortly after. She travelled from the pub on Railway Avenue to Bow Valley Road. At one point, she was within half a kilometer of the Canmore Hospital.  

Blackwood was struck and killed near the Canmore visitor information centre some time later. 

Police are still trying to find out her exact route. They say any footage taken in the vicinity of the Canmore Hospital and Canmore information centre between 2:30 a.m. and 3:50 a.m. on May 1 may help.

"We have a blank space we need to fill in," Mark Blackwood said to CTV News. 

"Come forward so we can let Ari rest," Jodi Blackwood added. "She deserves that. This is very important for us to bring some peace for her."

'A STAR'

Blackwood's parents only have great things to say about their daughter. 

She was studying physics at the University of Waterloo and was a star student and athlete. 

From gymnastics to the cadets to biathlon, Mark says she did it all. 

"She was pretty close to perfect and her friends thought the same," he said. "And she was organized. She had her life planned to the week -- from 18-years-old up until when she was probably retiring."

Her mom says Blackwood was also a social butterfly. "She'd walk in a room and she'd light it up," Jodi said. "Just really kind and open to new ideas and accepting of new people."

EXTENSIVE SEARCH

Authorities are still looking for the driver and hope more information might be gathered from video surveillance from area residents and businesses.

"Investigators are seeking any information regarding the movements of a slim blonde female wearing light blue jeans and a black shirt with sleeves," RCMP said in a release.

Anyone who drove through Canmore on Highway 1 between 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. and saw a woman walking in the area might also be able to help.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Canmore RCMP at 403-678-5519. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

"People start coming to me to hopefully get closure and heal themselves," Jodi said. "And, right now, I have none to give. Please help us if you can."