Family of Pasadena woman killed in hit-and-run: 'Our family needs answers'

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman on the run is accused of running over a mom who was riding her bike in Pasadena.

On Wednesday, Pasadena police released images of the driver they believe hit Melinda Ramirez and then took off. Ramirez later died at the hospital. Now, her family is looking for answers and closure as they try to deal with their grief.

The incident happened on Friday, July 30. Pasadena police said Ramirez was riding her bike near the 800 block of Preston Avenue when she was hit. The investigation eventually led them to Wendy's Car Wash, where surveillance images show the woman suspected of killing the beloved sister, mother, and aunt.

"This is my aunt. This is the beautiful lady that you left on the side of the road. She did not deserve that," said Ramirez's niece, Dominique Gutierrez, who spoke on behalf of her family.

Gutierrez said Ramirez's two daughters are still too traumatized to talk about what happened to their mom.

"My cousins are not sleeping. They're barely eating. They're not really able to communicate about it. They're often crying," Gutierrez said.

Pasadena police said surveillance images recorded shortly before the collision show the driver who hit Ramirez and then never stopped. A passenger is also visible inside a white, four-door SUV with a sunroof. But they still have not been identified.

"In a time like this, my family is supposed to be grieving. It's kind of not closure. There's no closure there," said family member Erica Cantu.

She said her aunt was an inviting woman who would always help family and even strangers.

"She needed to be treated with respect and dignity because she is a person," Gutierrez added. "Please understand that our family needs answers. We're begging for people that know anything, and know someone knows this woman, to please do the right thing."

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000 for information that leads them to the driver. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.
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