Family seeking justice after son killed in hit and run in Tulare County

A Valley family seeks justice after a 27-year-old father of two was killed in a hit and run in rural Tulare County over the weekend.

"What hurts the most is somebody hit my child and they left him in the street like an animal...they didn't care," said the victim's mother Cecilia Robles.

A grieving family still in shock after hearing news that Jose Melendez Jr. was killed in an apparent hit and run accident early Sunday morning.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm trying to take everything step by step. He was my backbone and now what...I don't know how I'm going to do without him," said the victim's girlfriend Alicia Cervantes.

Junior was riding in the car along with his girlfriend and their two young daughters late Saturday.

They had left their Fresno home to visit his parents in Porterville when he decided he wanted out of the car in rural Tulare County and would walk the rest of the way.

It was just after midnight and that was the last time his family would see him alive.

"Now I'm suffering and they're suffering," said Cervantes. "I feel like it's my fault but I know it's not. Because I should've been on him like I always am."

His family says Junior was the life of the party.

Always quick with a smile or joke to keep everyone laughing.

But just days before Thanksgiving they now feel a giant void.

"It's a big loss he has an eight-year-old daughter and a two-year-old daughter which he was the provider for the family so it's a big loss not just for us but for his kids and his girlfriend," said the victim's father Jose Melendez Sr.

According to law enforcement, leads on a suspect or vehicle description are thin but his mother has a message for those responsible

"If anybody knows something or seen it if you could please let us know so at least I could have some peace of mind," said Jose's mother.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.