ECHO PARK (CBSLA) — A $50,000 reward was being offered Thursday for information leading to the arrest of the driver suspected of a deadly Echo Park hit-and-run.
Police said the couple — 71-year-old Juan Bahena-Monroe and 58-year-old Morena Dell Carmen Alvarado-Lopez — were crossing Sunset Boulevard east of White Knoll Drive on their way home from a night out dancing around 12:50 a.m. Monday when they were struck by a car. Alvarado-Lopez later died from her injuries.
“I want the driver to turn himself in and take responsibility for what happened,” Bahena-Monroe said Wednesday from his hospital bed. “Please, I am begging him.”
But out of leads and out of options, the devastated family and the Los Angeles Police Department held a press conference hoping the public can help find the suspected driver.
“She was the greatest grandma and the greatest daughter and the greatest sister,” Daisy Alvarado, the victims’ daughter, said. “But she was a perfect mom.”
Police said the driver of the car that struck Bahena-Monroe and Alvarado-Lopez stopped for a brief moment before leaving the scene.
“He was devastated,” Oscar Escobar Alvarado, the victims’ son, said. “He said he should have died instead or they both should have just went together. He said he tried to shield her, but he couldn’t.”
The car, a red 4-door sedan, likely has front-end damage from the crash, and though detectives said they did not know if there were any passengers, they said only the driver was criminally liable.
“They don’t have to fear anything, they can come forward and tell us information,” Det. Juan Campos, of the LAPD, said. “They actually might even qualify for the reward.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up by family members to help cover funeral and medical costs.
“If you know and you’re not saying nothing, you are just as guilty,” Escobar Alvarado said.