INDIANAPOLIS, Ind — Police have identified the person they believe hit and killed a 14-year-old last month.
It’s been exactly one month since Luis “Daniel” Patino-Ortega was killed while riding his motorbike down the street from his home.
His mother Maria Guadalupe-Ortega is speaking for the first time through her minister and translator, Maria Pimentel-Gannon.
“Sometimes I feel like I just want to wake up,” said Ortega.
She says it still feels like a dream even one month after her son’s death.
“I find myself wanting to call out to him and say, ‘Daniel please do this or please come over here’. It’s just been difficult, it’s been a difficult time, a difficult period,” said Ortega.
She says she remembers September 11, like it was yesterday.
“That day was a different kind of day. It was very peaceful,” said Ortega.
The family says Luis was running an errand with his little brother Fernando. The two were always known for riding their bikes or motorbikes.
They were going to take money to a family member just a few blocks away. When she wasn’t home, the two returned. Luis waited until later to go again this time he went by himself and never returned.
“I had no idea it would be the last time I would see him. And I just can’t believe that he left and he never returned,” said Ortega.
Police say the driver that hit Luis kept going.
But two anonymous calls and evidence at the scene helped police identify him as Timothy Poole.
Police also have cell phone records and accounts from others that place him at the scene.
However, the family says they haven’t given him much thought.
“There is no space in our hearts for hatred or for anything against this person. One day he’s going to have to give account to God. That’s between him and God what he did,” said Ortega.
They say the driver’s actions have changed their lives forever. It’s provided them with a new life, newfound love, and a new journey. A journey that Luis will forever be a part of.
“Luis Daniel continues to live with us and within us. We talk about him, we remember things he used to say. He would always make us laugh, so we continue to remember those things. We can’t see him, but we feel him. We know he’s here and that gives us comfort as well,” said Ortega.
The family thanks those who’ve lent a helping hand and prayed for them.
“We would like to thank everybody, and if we don’t thank you with a card please forgive us because we just don’t remember. But we are trying to thank everybody who showed us an act of kindness that will never be forgotten,” said Ortega.
Police are currently still searching for the person responsible.