Dinuba woman killed in hit-and-run crash was related to teen suspect, police say

The teen's parents have been accused of helping her cover up the crime.

Elisa Navarro Image
Friday, January 6, 2023
Dinuba woman killed in hit-and-run crash was related to teen suspect, police say
Investigators say a 17-year-old driver killed a family member in a hit-and-run crash the weekend before Thanksgiving in Dinuba

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley family whose loved one was killed by a hit and run driver is now dealing with more devastating news.

The Dinuba Police Department says a 17-year-old suspect is related to the victim and her parents helped cover the crime.

Officials says the teen her parents were arrested earlier this week for the tragic death of 51-year-old Isabel Villagomez.

The teen has been charged, and now the Tulare County District Attorney's Office is deciding if her parents will also face charges.

Isabel's daughter says it's hard to forgive her own family and she doesn't understand why they didn't speak up the night it happened or in the following days.

"We spent the holidays, and I was like, how can someone be out there enjoying their holiday, and I have an empty seat, my mom isn't here."

On November 19th, Villagomez was hit and killed by a car on Nebraska Avenue in Dinuba.

Family and friends mourned her loss with little information about who was behind the wheel on the tragic night.

"My mom was my world and to think that person didn't stop? Why didn't they stop?"

Earlier this week, that all changed.

"We had an anonymous tip about who it was," said Lt. Eric Trevino.

The suspect was arrested and booked for a felony hit and run, causing injury or death and vehicular manslaughter.

Her parents, Camelia Villagomez and Miguel Ramirez, were also arrested for allegedly helping their daughter hide the car, which was later found in Los Angeles.

Isabel's family members say they are related to the suspects. They say they are hurt that none of them spoke up.

"We are very close family members. The person's father is my dad's first cousin. My mom opened the doors to them. Our parents went out on double dates to the cousin and used to hang out."

One of Isabel's daughters says she truly believes it was an accident and wishes the teen and her parents would have come forward and apologized weeks ago.

"When we called them to tell them my mom passed away, they acted shocked. If they would have come forward, I would have forgave them and told them, nothing is brining my mom back but at least you did the right thing."

Instead, she feels betrayed... and is now hoping justice will be served for her mother.

"We found out by other family that they were vacationing in Mexico and throwing parties. How could you do that after you just killed someone?"

The 17 year old was released and is due in court on January 31st.

Her parents were also released pending charges from the Tulare County District Attorney's Office.