EAST ST. LOUIS, ILL. - The family of a boy killed in a hit-and-run crash last year is putting pressure on police to step up their investigation.
Thursday marked exactly one year since 11-year-old Maurice Richards was killed while crossing State Street near Post Place in East St. Louis.
At the time, police said the responsible driver never stopped and that several other drivers went around the young boy’s body while it was lying in the street.
The case remains unsolved with no reported arrests.
That’s one reason why Richards’ loved ones braved the wet weather Thursday evening — similar to one year ago — for a vigil near the corner where his young life was cut short.
“I feel really sorry that Maurice had to die right on this corner and that man who killed him was just disrespectful,” said Richards’ close friend Christian Williams, 12.
Richards was walking to the convenience store to buy some potato chips at the time of his death. The young boy was known for being energetic and adventurous with a love of football.
Family members said they just wish the driver would’ve been brave enough to stick around and talk with police.
“Accidents do happen. Accidents do happen, but this is beyond an accident. You need to come forward,” said Cassandra Carpenter, a cousin of the victim.
But relatives stated that what’s even more troubling is the lack of communication and information about the case coming from police.
“I just want somebody to do something,” said Richards’ mother, Erica Steele.
Steele said she’s repeatedly tried to reach out to investigators about tips and possible evidence, but has yet to hear back. She fears her son’s case will go cold.
“I’ve gotten nowhere. Nowhere. No answers,” she said holding back tears.
Now, through their grief, Richards’ family is turning to the public asking for answers.
Steele said, “Whoever it is, or if you have any information, just come out and say something.”
They’re hoping to eventually get closure for a little boy taken too soon.
“I miss you and if you could ever come back to us, I wish you could right now,” Williams said.
5 On Your Side repeatedly tried to reach East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Hubbard on Thursday through e-mail and voicemail. We have not heard back.
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