Siblings seek answers after death of gran­dmother

Anita Ortiz died after hit-­and-run accident on the south side

Angelique Patlan knelt with her four brothers just a few feet from where her grandmother was critically injured.

The siblings were still reeling from the loss of their grandmother, and the woman who practically raised them, 63-year-old Anita Salazar.

“We really looked up to her,” Patlan said. “She was always there for us.”

On Nov. 1, Salazar was running errands when her SUV was hit by a pick-up truck fleeing from police.

She suffered life-threatening injuries and died two days later. The driver left the scene and has not been caught

“The [person] that killed her took everything away from us. (They) took away our support system,” said Salazar’s grandson Paul Patlan Jr. “She raised us as a family and she kept everyone together.”

Salazar adopted the five children when they were young and raised them as her own for a decade.

“We wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for my grandmother,” said Robert Patlan.

Now that she’s gone, the siblings have turned to each other for support. “I know this is what she wants. She would want us to stay together and be strong for her,” said Paul.

Police believe the driver may have been involved in an illegal trafficking operation because investigators found no seats inside the truck, only a metal folding-chair.

Paul Patlan said that does not matter, he just wants someone brought to justice.

“If you're responsible for this can you please step up and pay for your crime?” he said. "This was an innocent woman."

Salazar’s death has had an emotional and financial impact on her grandchildren.

To find out how you can help the Patlan family, click here.

For a list of recent stories Cory Smith has done, click here.

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