PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police and the parents of the eight-year-old girl killed in a hit-and-run last week pleaded for the public’s help in finding the driver.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said, “We need the public’s assistance in finding the person responsible.”
Jayanna Powell was killed on November 18 while she was walking home in the Overbrook section of the city.
Commissioner Ross said, “Looking at this family and the grief they are going through, help bring them some sense of closure because they have lost their little one.”
Police, speaking directly to the driver, said, “Your chance is now to come forward. I promise a fair investigation, but you have to come forward. The longer you stay away, the more it looks like you’re trying to hide something.”
Visibly shaken, police are now increasing public pressure on the driver to come forward. Captain Patrick Kelly of Accident Investigations Division said progress is being made, but the case is taking a toll on officers.
“I just don’t know how this person, how they’re living with themself. I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning wondering what did we miss on this case,” Kelly said.
Fraternal Order of Police president John McNesby said, “We have a reward fund set up. It’s a lot of money donated by businesses.”
“What we’re asking, we’re putting a plea out to the community to bring this person in. Bring them in today and you’re paid today. It’s not for the conviction, you do not have to wait through a long, detailed process. Let’s give this family some closure and start the healing process.”
“I just want to talk to the person who hit my daughter,” Ayeshia Poole said at a morning news conference announcing a series of rewards offered in connection to the case. Struggling and holding back tears, Poole begged for the driver to surrender.
“It may have been an accident, I don’t know, but I ask that you turn yourself in. I had to lay my baby to rest yesterday. The hardest day of my life. I don’t get a prom, I don’t get a graduation, or a marriage, no grandkids, no nothing. Turn yourself in and make it better on everybody. Please turn yourself in.”
A $25,000 reward is being offered for information on the driver. The mayor’s office is offering $10,000 and the FOP is offering $15,000.
Police sources tell CBS 3 a stream of tips has since been generated after word of the rewards.
Police say the striking vehicle is believed to be a silver 2009-2016 Nissan Maxima or Altima. The vehicle should have damage to one of the front headlights as well as damage to the front grill area.
Joe Holden contributed to this report…