Modesto Family Suffers Another Tragedy after Hit-and-Run

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MODESTO -- A Modesto family is grieving after their grandmother was killed in a hit-and-run.

"There's no words to describe the way that we feel right now. There's none, there's none, just pain. That's it, just pain," said Monique Arellano. "It just hurts so bad. And there's nothing that can take it way, there's nothing that can take it away. It just hurts."

Irene Arellano Lopez was struck and killed in a crosswalk on Chapman Road and Pelendale Avenue on Wednesday.

Her daughters, Monique Arellano and Marina Lopez, said their mother has five kids, seven grandkids and many more who will miss her dearly.

"Just a loving, caring spirit. That's what my mom was," Lopez told FOX40.

Modesto police are still searching for the driver after police say their Volkswagen Jetta was found on Thursday.

For the family, it is the second time they've lost a family member to violent crime. Four years ago, Arellano's brother-in-law, Salvador Rodriguez, was found dead near the southbound off-ramp of Highway 99 and Tuolumne Boulevard.

"He was innocent. He didn't do no harm to no one," Arellano said.

Rodriguez was 24 years old at the time but because of a developmental disability, he had the mental capacity of a child.

"They don't know what they took from my husband's family," Arellano said. "He was special and he was really special to them."

His murder remains unsolved but his family says they'll never stop searching for answers.

"It's hard enough dealing with the loss and the pain that we're going through but to deal with all of that, like, to deal with not knowing who did this, it just adds so much more," Arellano said. "It just adds so much more to everything and it just makes things harder. It makes it harder to heal and just harder to get through it."

The family is pleading to the public and asking anyone with information about either the hit-and-run collision or the homicide investigation to please contact Modesto police or Stanislaus County Crime Stoppers.

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