The person responsible for a fatal hit-and-run accident in southeastern Texas left an unusual piece of evidence behind at the scene : an anonymous apology note.
League City, Texas, police told ABCNews.com that the note was left near the body of 34-year-old Maurice Jones, who they believe was walking home from his job at a McDonald's when he was struck and killed.
"We're surmising that the person who struck Jones stopped and left the note," said Sgt. David Hausam of the League City Police Department.
Police declined to release the contents of the note, but the victim's mother, Roberta Jones, said that authorities told her the message read, "I'm sorry, but I have a family."
"The note is something a coward would do," said Jones. "We teach our kids to be honest, and if you did something to tell. Of course, you'll get in trouble but it won't be as bad as if you lie."
"This was a coward's way out," she said.
Jones' mother said that her son's body was found -- clad in a McDonald's uniform -- by a local police officer who was patrolling the road where the accident occurred. She described the area as one that wouldn't have had a "steady flow of traffic" late on a Saturday evening.
Jones had recently moved home to live with his mother after losing his job as a carpenter, and he had been walking home because his truck had recently broken down.
"He was just planning to get himself back together and get his situation settled," said his mother, who described her son as a "happy" guy who was always willing to help out where he could.
"Maurice was everything to everybody," said Jones. "If you needed help fixing something, he'd come fix it. If you needed something cooked, he'd come cook it."
Jones is survived by his 11-year-old daughter, Jada, whom his mother said he rarely saw because of his estranged relationship with the child's mother.
Hausam believes Jones was killed between 10 p.m. on March 28 and 7 a.m. on March 29.
"It's very odd," said Hausam, who said that in his 16 years on the job he'd never heard of a note being left by a driver in a hit-and-run case.
"Obviously [the person who wrote the note] is aware they struck him and I believe they have a conscience about him," said Hausam.
The note was written in ink on a piece of spiral notebook paper, said Hausam, and was left close to Jones' body.
Hausam declined to speculate as to whether he believed the author of the note was male or female, but one of his colleagues, Detective Scott Aldridge, told The Galveston Daily News that he believed the driver was female because of the handwriting.
Aldridge told the paper that whoever wrote the note "clearly acknowledged having made a mistake," and that the note was approximately 20 words in length.
Hausam said that he hoped the note would help them find the driver.
"The note is a big clue," said Hausam. "They showed remorse in the note and hopefully, when they think about it, they'll tell someone else about it or come forward."
Hausam said that he had hoped the widespread media attention given to the case would have already led to an arrest.
"This is something that's going to leave quite a mark on someone's car," he said. "And someone must have seen something."
Maurice Jones' mother said that she hoped the identity of the note-writer would eventually be learned.
"I don't think anybody deserves to be treated the way my son was," she said. "Maurice never would have done that. That's an ugly person."