FOREST GROVE, Ore. (KPTV) — An 18-year-old couple was arrested Tuesday night in connection with a hit-and-run incident in which two young girls playing in a pile of leaves were struck and killed Sunday night.
Forest Grove police said Cinthya Cisneros, 18, of Forest Grove, and her boyfriend, Mario Echeverria, 18, of Cornelius, Ore., were in the car that hit Abigail Robinson, 11, and her stepsister, Anna Dieter-Eckert, 6, on Sunday night.
Investigators said Cisneros was driving and is charged with failure to perform the duties of a driver, a felony charge.
Echeverria is charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
Booking photos of the suspects were not immediately available.
The two girls were playing in a pile of leaves that spilled out onto the road in the 1700 block of Main Street at 8:25 p.m. Sunday. Police said a car hit them and the driver kept going.
The father of the girls was taking photos of them playing in the leaves before the crash. He went back into the house momentarily to put the camera away, and in that brief moment, he heard the engine of a car, according to police.
Dieter-Eckert was pronounced dead at the scene, while Robinson was rushed to a hospital, where she died at 11:24 p.m. Monday.
The family continues to grieve in private, but they did release a statement Tuesday prior to the arrests saying: “We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support. We feel it, we really feel it. We made a point of hugging and loving our girls every chance we could. We just want to encourage you to hug your children. Hug and love your kids as often as you can. Our girls lived a love-drenched life. We know where they are now. We know they are together in perfect peace with their creator.”
Police said the vehicle that hit the girls was found Monday, but the arrests were not made until Tuesday.