Fox CBS KION Broadcast

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Fox CBS KION Broadcast


SANTA CRUZ, Calif.- Hearts are heavy as friends and family remember a free-spirited Massachusetts native who peddled his way across the United States, only to be killed by a hit and run driver on the Central Coast. Still, a year later, no one has come forward to fess up to the crime.

We sat down with his parents about honoring their only son and his tragic story in Santa Cruz.

“Just to know what happened and to you know find some justice for Josh, I mean, he didn’t deserve to die on the roadside,” said Jennifer Putnam.

Jennifer and Jay Putnam said the pain of not knowing who’s responsible for leaving their son Joshua Laven along Highway 1 just north of Santa Cruz is gut-wrenching.

“You know at one point you’d like to sort of process where you are and yet on the other hand I can’t completely move forward because I’m still feeling this commitment to finding out what happened,” said dad Jay Putnam.

About a year before his death, Joshua rode across the country in honor of a friend. Yet, no one stopped to honor his life until Joan Leitner came riding up the road. That’s where she found Josh’s dog Ozzy, laying next to his owner-a sign of loyalty she’ll never forget.

“I’m a little ashamed that we live in a community where somebody wouldn’t stop and would leave Ozzy laying there for 10 hours,” said friend Joan Leitner.

Ozzy’s in good hands now, living with Joan and her husband in Santa Cruz. Even though closure hasn’t come yet, Josh’s parents are taking steps to help other families in a similar situation. They just set up a website in his honor called They hope it will help build awareness about bicycle safety.

“It all comes down to you know, we’ve been educated this year and maybe we can share a little bit of that with some other people,” Putnam said.

Joshua’s parents said it’s still an investigation CHP is working on as they look for clues. They said parts from a 2002-2005 Dodge Ram truck were left behind at the scene. Family and friends are also working with local officials to put up a guard rail to make the trail along Highway 1 safer for other bicyclists.

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