Unusual plea from toddler's family leads to tip in cold case

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 02:23:49-05

A new tip may be warming up a local cold case after more than a decade.

Ten years ago, Debbie Allen left her three-year-old son Alex with a roommate at their Escondido apartment. Just before 5 p.m., the boy was allowed to play outside - but there was confusion. A family member was supposed to have been watching Alex, but he was left alone.

Soon after he was left outside, neighbors came rushing into the house.

“The baby, the baby, the baby is in the street!’ is what the neighbors yelled,” said Allen.

It was Alex - not in the street, but lying in the apartment parking lot. He had been hit by a vehicle. He later died at the hospital.

“I was screaming, crying and then I fainted,” said Allen.

So many years later, Allen says her anguish lingers because there are so few answers.

“It just kills me inside,” said Allen, wiping away tears.

David Allen was six when he saw his brother lying in the parking lot.

“I’ve always wanted to know who would do that and just run away like a coward, like it was no big deal,” he said.

Family members say all this time and no witnesses have come forward - until now.

Days ago, the family posted a plea for tips on Facebook, pointing out the statute of limitations for hit and run expired six years ago. Family members tell us two years ago, the police told them the case was closed.

“We're not out to press charges. We’re not out to get you. We just want closure,” said Allen.

Allen says they got a tip reporting some unreleased information about how Alex was hit.  Tire tracks discovered on his body had painted a story of where Alex was struck on his body.

Allen says the tipster saw an SUV driving away. Allen believes there are more witnesses.

“I just need to know why, how, who," Allen said. "As a mother, I need to know what happened to my baby."

The family has since moved to Iowa, but Allen's extended family keep the memorial alive.

We reached out to police to see where the case stands.  A spokesperson said they would be responding on Tuesday.