SAN ANTONIO – A family is reeling from the loss of 1-year-old Melody Rose Hernandez, who was fatally struck by a car when she slipped out of her parents' home late last year.
Investigators said Melody got out of the home in the 2200 Hicks Avenue on Dec. 18. She was in the street when a car hit her just before 7:30 p.m. and drove away.
"She slipped out," said Melody's father, Marco Hernandez. "No one was outside anymore and we weren’t aware that the door was open. It wasn't supposed to be. It never was. But, unfortunately nobody was out there, and apparently, the gate was open. I don’t know what she was doing on the street.”
Melody died from her injuries on Dec. 23, five days after the hit-and-run.
Although little is known about the vehicle that hit her, Hernandez said that two men told him him they saw a vehicle driving the opposite direction that might have done it or seen something.
“I asked him, 'What happened? What did you see?' He said it was a gray truck. He said it was like mine. At the time, I had an Explorer, so I’m guessing like an SUV-type, gray vehicle,” Hernandez recalled. “My daughter's an innocent little girl and she didn’t deserve it.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information on tips that lead to the arrest of the person responsible.
As Melody's parents grieve, they hold hope that someone may know something.
"It was hard losing her," Melody's mother, Devin Pina said. "We're thankful it didn’t happen instantly. We got a couple of days in the hospital, where her body was still with us.”
Her mother said she has a lot of regret about what she should have been doing that night, and hopes more parents to love and cherish every moment with their kids.
“Your kids should be your No. 1 priority, anything like cleaning up -- now that I think about it, that can all wait," Pina said.
Anyone with any knowledge of the hit-and-run is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (210) 224-STOP.
Tips can also be texted to CRIMES (274637) or by visiting the Crime Stoppers website.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.