Latino Community mourns the death of Ema Cardenas

DES MOINES, Iowa —

A memorial has gone up for 14-year-old Ema Cardenas, who was killed Thursday in a hit-and-run crash.

Investigators are still trying to understand what led up to the fatal crash.

Cardenas was a freshman at Des Moines East High School. Classmates told KCCI she was about to turn 15 and had plans for a quinceañera celebration.

Investigators are trying to understand how she ended up in the road, and if the driver actually stopped at first.

Sgt. Paul Parizek said people near the crash helped police track down the vehicle.

The Des Moines Police Department charged 38-year-old Terra Jean Flipping with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury or death. Police announced Friday morning that they had located and impounded a vehicle related to the crash.

Flipping's father said she did stop after the crash. When people near the scene became aggressive, Flipping left, according to her father. Flipping is out of jail after posting bond.

According to Parizek, police believe the crash was accidental in nature.

Police continue to investigate. Anyone who may have seen the crash is asked to call the Des Moines Police Department Traffic Unit at 515-323-8370.

Des Moines police have released the identity of a 14-year-old girl killed Thursday in a hit-and-run crash.

Police said 14-year-old Ema Cardenas died in the incident. Des Moines Public School officials confirmed Friday that she was a freshman at East High School.

"Ema has been with us since kindergarten and will be deeply missed by her friends and teachers," school officials said on Facebook.

The search is on for the driver in the crash.

According to police, the Cardenas was hit by an SUV at around 3:42 p.m. She was transported to a local hospital where she later died.

Police on Friday morning said the vehicle involved in the crash has been located and impounded, but officers are still looking for the driver.

Anyone with information on the driver is asked to call the Des Moines Police Department Traffic Unit at 515-323-8370.

Anonymous tips may also be submitted through CrimeStoppers of Central Iowa at 515-223-1400 or online

 

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