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Mother pleas for hit and run closure

By Kianga Kelley
Published On: Jan 05 2013 07:35:29 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 06 2013 08:45:00 PM CST
Greenville -

A mother continues her search for whoever hit and killed her son along a local highway. Nicolette Baeza spent her weekend, going door to door passing out flyers about her son 20-year-old son.

 “We're just asking people to do the right thing,” said Nicolette.

 Austin Baeza was walking along Highway 33 in Pitt County in August. Baeza was hit and killed, and the driver's never been found. His parents put up a banner at the crash site last Friday night. The reward in the case is now up to $11,500.

 “He was hit by a car and left in a ditch alone. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment. That’s in humane,” said Nicolette. “If you know something why aren't you speaking out?”

On Saturday, the Pitt County Sheriff's Office and Highway patrol escorted several family members and friends of the Baeza’s around to four neighborhoods. There are little clues as to what happened that night. On Friday night, the Baeza’s unexpectedly met the person who called 911.

 “He was running across the street at us and he says are you Austins mom,” said Nicolette? “I said yes, and then he said I'm the one that found him. I called for help. I hopped out of the car and I hugged him and he said I’m so sorry. It haunts me every morning when I wake up.”

Family members say that meeting gave them hope that the answer they are looking for is around the corner.

 “It’s not going to bring him back but it will still help us deal with this. We have to live without him. He's gone forever,” said Baeza’s little sister Alesa.

Investigators are looking for a Dodge, Jeep, or a Chryslers. It is an older looking model and should have damage or repairs to the rearview mirror and headlight. Anyone with information are asked to call 252-758-7777

There are two petitions on Facebook in honor of Austin Baeza. One petition offers a better alert system called the Austin Alert. It is designed to help different law enforcement agencies find the cars they are looking for after a hit and run. The second petition is calling for steeper hit and run penalties. To sign the petition, look for it on “The Austin Campaign” on Facebook.