Family in mourning after 5-year-old struck by car and killed; suspect in custody

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ST. LOUIS – A woman is in custody awaiting after fatally hitting 5-year-old Demyhia Bates with her car Monday evening and then leaving the scene.

“Sweet and adorable little girl. I will miss her dearly,” said Thandiwe Hundley, Demyhia’s great aunt.

The family of 5-year-old in disbelief, heartbroken, and at a loss for words following the tragedy.

“Just a normal day; playing with neighbors, kids buying ice cream,” said Carlos Hill, Demyhia’s stepfather.

Authorities say the accident happened around 7:30 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Shulte and Park, in the Walnut Park West neighborhood.

The child’s family says Demyhia was playing tag with her 10-year-old brother outside their home. As she ran across the street, a car came barreling down the narrow street already packed with cars and struck her. Demyhia’s brother saw the tragedy unfold.

Police say the 35-year-old female driver fled from the scene. Investigators located the SUV and the driver Tuesday morning.

The family says the driver lives in their neighborhood and had her own daughter with her.

“She was speeding. I don’t know why she did not stop,” Hill said. “I heard they caught her, thank God for that.”

Demyhia and her family just moved to the neighborhood two months ago. Her family says she was looking forward to going back to school.

Authorities have not identified the woman driver and what charges she may face.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses.

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