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'An angel in heaven': Family puzzled after woman killed on US-31 after celebrating son's birthday

It all started Thursday evening, when Norton Shores police said they got a call for a woman walking in the roadway on Harvey Street near US-31 and Sternberg Road.

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — A lakeshore family is trying to make sense of what appears to be a horrible accident, after their loved one was hit and killed while walking along US-31 Thursday evening

Her death is still a mystery to those that loved her, and they said 33-year-old Brittany Bayne was the most loving person you'd ever meet.  

It all started on Thursday evening, when Norton Shores police said they got a call for a woman walking in the roadway on Harvey Street near US-31 and Sternberg Road.

Shortly after, another officer responded to a report that a car had hit someone on the highway near Sternberg Road. 

Little did they know, David Dalton had been frantically searching for his fiancé, Brittany Bayne, in and around the nearby Meijer store for more than a half hour. 

"I was freaking out walking through the store with my two kids, and I'm just trying to keep my cool," Dalton said. 

Dalton said they had been out celebrating Brittany's son's 7th birthday in the hours before her death. 

"I was excited to be here with her and we spent a great day together," he explained. "And in life for us, everything has been on the up-and-up and been going good."

After dinner, Dalton said they stopped by Meijer for a quick trip to buy new shoes for their son. He said Brittany wasn't feeling well, so she stayed in the car and waited for them as she had done several times in the past.  

When Dalton and the kids got back to the car, Brittany wasn't there. But the doors were locked and the keys were sitting on the middle console. 

"I'm very protective, so it kind of freaked me out a little bit," Dalton said, "and it was out of the blue and didn't seem right."

Dalton called her. The first time, she didn't answer.

"That made it worse," he said. 

He called her again, and she answered, but Dalton said that nothing sounded wrong and he thought she had just gone inside the store to use the bathroom.

"She wasn't like emotional or anything like that," Dalton remembered, "she just said she had forgotten to unlock one of the doors for us." 

After about ten minutes, Dalton started to get concerned. That's when he and the kids went back into the store and searched all over for Brittany. 

"I looked in every bathroom, every stall, and I even had them announce her name over the loud speaker a few times," Dalton said, "and then that's also when I called the police."

It wasn't long after that, that Dalton was given the devastating news that a woman had been hit and killed on the highway just down the road. He said he had a bad feeling, but it was even worse when police asked him to identify her by her tattoos. 

"Unreal, nothing feels real even still," Dalton said, with tears in his eyes. "You don't know what shock is when you're in it, and I can't tell if that's what this is, but I do have this range of emotion that is so back and forth that it's gotta be what it is. So in that moment, that's how I felt."

"You don't know what to do. I got my two kids sitting there and all I can think about is trying to feel this, but also just trying to be there for them," he added, "so we just sat on the floor in the Meijer."

Dalton, who has been with Brittany for nearly seven years and has helped raise her children as his own said he, her family, and the police, are still trying to figure out why Brittany was walking in the road in the first place.

"It don't make any sense," said Brittany's mother, Debra Perysian. "It don't make any sense why she'd go out on the highway."

Dalton said Brittany had previously had her gallbladder removed and therefore never drank, or did drugs because it would cause a bad reaction. Instead, he said she was always focused on taking care of others, and her children, an 8-year-old girl, and now 7-year-old son. 

"She just loves kids and loves helping others," Dalton said. "And she was a social butterfly, so she never needed alcohol or anything like that, she just she'd have a good time without anything."

Now, the people that love Brittany the most want her to be remembered as the loving, funny, caring person that she was. 

"She was a homebody that also wanted to see the world," Dalton said. 

"She always found the good," Debra added. "She always found the good, no matter what."

A GoFundMe has been created in Brittany's honor to help her family with funeral expenses. 

Police say the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash has been identified, but did not release their name, and are adamant that this crash is still under investigation. 13 N YOUR SIDE asked police if there was more than one car that hit Brittany, but they could not provide any additional information. 

Investigators are asking that if anyone has any information regarding this incident, to please call Silent Observer (231-722-7463), Norton Shores Police Department (231-733-2691) or 911.

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