A North Carolina couple was arrested more than six months after the wife allegedly mowed down a 12-year-old girl as the child was returning home from buying candy for her birthday sleepover — and her undocumented husband then torched the car involved in the deadly hit-and-run.
Blanca De Mari Escobar-Roblero, 27, and Wilmer Morales-Roblero, 26, were arrested Thursday for the November 25, 2022, crash in Raleigh that killed Samantha Briggs.
Escobar-Roblero, who was allegedly behind the wheel of the car that struck the child, faces felony counts of hit-and-run causing serious injury or death and obstructing justice.
The woman’s husband — a native of Guatemala living in the US illegally — was booked on charges of accessory after the fact and obstructing justice for his suspected attempt to cover up the crime by destroying evidence.
Samantha’s heartbroken father, Samuel Briggs, told WRAL News said the past six months spent waiting for the police to bring his daughter’s killer to justice have been filled with “tears and pain and wondering.”
Her sister, Kishaa Holmes, said news of the couple’s arrest left her feeling “overwhelmed” and “shaking.”
“I feel a little closure, but it won’t bring her back,” she added. “The pain I feel is still unbearable.”
Just after 7:30 p.m. on the night of the accident, Samantha was trying to cross Hillsborough Street with a group of friends after buying supplies for her planned sleepover when a white Hyundai hybrid struck the girl and sped away.
The 12-year-old was taken to a hospital, where she died of her injuries — a day after her birthday.
Raleigh police had spent months trying to find the driver responsbie for the hit-and-run, but without success.
Then on May 12, they returned to the 6500 block of Hillsborough Street to hand out flyers seeking information in this case — and this time a man offered a tip that ultimately led them to Escobar-Roblero and Morales-Roblero.
According to warrants obtained by the station ABC11, after Escobar-Roblero hit Samantha, she called her husband, who was not with her in the car at the time of the crash, and told him what happened.
The couple then allegedly drove the Hyundai to Franklin County, where the husband “excessively burned the suspect vehicle.” The warrant alleged that the 26-year-old committed the crime “with malice.”
During a court hearing, a prosecutor said that cellphone records put Escobar-Roblero at the scene of the crash and the site where the car was burned.
During a police interview, the woman allegedly admitted to hitting Samantha.
Her husband’s phone pinged at the scene of the hit-and-run after the collision, and later in Franklin County. Morales-Roblero also allegedly admitted to his involvement in the incident.
Police have obtained text messages between the couple allegedly discussing the burning of the Hyundai.
The court also heard that Morales-Roblero had a warrant out for his arrest in Arizona.
A judge set the wife’s bond at $50,000 and the husband’s at $25,000.
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