In the first major break in a hit-and-run that killed a 2-year-old at a birthday party, authorities may have found the vehicle involved in the deadly crash.
San Bernardino Police impounded the vehicle Friday after a tipster alerted them to its location. They are not releasing any further information about the vehicle as they await search warrants to further their investigation.
Family members weren't initially aware of the information and were happy there was progress being made in the case.
"She deserves justice, she deserves more, she deserves a life," Deerica Jones, the toddler's cousin said.
Asianae Thomas was struck by a vehicle Sunday when she wandered into the street after playing in a bounce house at a birthday party in the 2400 block of Mountain View Avenue in San Bernardino.
Her family hadn’t noticed she was gone until it was too late.
"It was an accident," Andrea Thomas said earlier in the week, the victim’s second cousin.
Family members and neighbors ran to the toddler’s side where her mother cradled her and watched the driver disappear out of site.
Asianae was taken to a hospital where she was listed in grave condition before succombing to her injuries Wednesday.
Surveillance video released Wednesday showed a dark-colored truck, possibly a flatbed with utility boxes behind the cab, turning left onto Mountain View Avenue from Highland Avenue about a minute before the girl was struck.
Family members were certain it was the same truck that struck the toddler.
"That is the truck," said the victim’s cousin, Felicia Windom in an earlier interview with NBC4. "We got him. We got something, you know? That’s what we’ve been praying for."
Police hoped the new video would be the break in the case they were looking for. The images came from a 7-Eleven camera on the corner of Mountain View and Highland avenues.
Windom, like the rest of Asianae’s family, wanted the person responsible for her death found.
"That is a hit-and-run," Windom said. "That is downright murder."
Investigators hoped the unique description of the truck would lead them to the driver. They said there was a chance that the driver did not know he or she ran over a child.
"If it was a true accident, those things will be reviewed by the district attorney's office, and we'll see where we go,” said Lt. Rich Lawhead of the San Bernardino Police Department. “But right now we are looking at a felony hit-and-run."
At the time of the collision, witnesses had varying descriptions of the vehicle and police said they had a partial license plate.