NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - A heartbroken mother is appealing for tips after her 25-year-son was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in National City last week.
Video shows Julius Bautista in September, playing the ukulele and piano at the home he shared with his parents in Paradise Hills.
Weeks later, Bautista, who had struggled after a bipolar disorder diagnosis six years ago, left home.
“When he gets episodes, he would not come home for a week or two, but now is the longest,” said Teresa Bautista.
Teresa says her son called her last Monday from a hospital and had received medication.
"He would always say, ‘Hello, mama. I’m getting better.’”
Hours later, past 7 p.m, police say Bautista was walking along Paradise Valley Road, east of Plaza Boulevard when he was struck by an SUV and hit by several other cars afterward.
Those drivers would stay at the scene, while the SUV driver took off. Bautista would die at the scene.
A devastated Teresa says Bautista was a big brother to her four other children.
“He's a joy in my life. He never hurt anybody. He’s kind and cheerful."
Teresa is not sure where her son was headed that night, but he was about a half-mile from home when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
“Very irresponsible. It’s very irresponsible because this is a person we're talking about."
Teresa is now making an appeal for tips.
“If you could just please come forward, be brave enough to let us know what happened. We just want peace,” said Teresa.
National City Police say the suspect vehicle is 2012-2015, silver or gray Subaru or Mitsubishi SUV.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477 or National City Police at 619-336-4411.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.