Mother of hit and run victim mourns her son's death - Tucson News Now

Mother of hit and run victim mourns her son's death

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By J.D. Wallace - bio | email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – The mother of a fatal hit-and-run victim mourns the loss of her son as she asks who could do such a thing.

"Obviously I'm very sad that this has happened that someone could take someone's life and actually get out of the car and look at them and get back in a car and drive away," said Cathryn Cooper about the hit-and-run death of her 13-year-old son, Anthony Gillette. "He had so much ahead of him, he could have done anything with his life."

Child Protective Services reported to Department of Public Safety that the group home that was caring for Gillette had reported him as a runaway. Cooper said that Gillette was in the group home while she was in the hospital.

Tucson Police said that Gillette had been reported as a runaway a week earlier and gave notice to watch for him.

"Beyond that, there's really no way to dedicate personnel to scour the streets looking for a runaway juvenile," Tucson Police Sgt. Matt Ronstadt said.

Even after the Sunday fatality, DPS did not identify Gillette for three days.

"One of the hurdles we deal with on runaway juveniles, we often don't have fingerprints on file of the juvenile," Ronstadt said.

"I know he loved me, he told me every day when he would go to bed until he hugged me goodnight and said I love you mom and if I didn't say it back, he'd say, I didn't hear anything," Cooper said.

As a mother mourns the loss of a son she says was very affectionate, the driver who took his life has yet to be found.

"If anyone has any knowledge as to the accident if they would please come forward, I know I can't bring Anthony back but he deserves that," she said.

Witnesses reported that the car that hit Gillette was a dark colored Jeep Liberty or Grand Cherokee with a female driver about 30 years old with dark hair pulled back in a pony tail. She was 5'5" to 5'9" tall and wore light colored shorts and a turquoise colored shirt.  She also had a passenger in the vehicle. 

Anyone with information should call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.

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