TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The grief in the room was palpable. You could feel the raw emotion from Mercedes Concepcion. Her shoulders shook as she sobbed. She wept as she talked about her 17-year-old daughter, who was hit by a driver and left to die Wednesday night along Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.
Ashley Perdomo was only a senior in high school with her entire life ahead of her. She had plans to attend Hillsborough Community College while also pursuing a modeling career.
Those dreams came to an end Wednesday. Ashley was working as a cashier at El Unico Supermarket to make extra money for college. She left the grocery store around 8 p.m. and crossed the street to catch the bus along Hillsborough.
Ashley’s older brother, Bryant, tracks her phone each night as she comes home from work. When he didn’t hear from her, he knew something was wrong. As time went by, Bryant and his mother became more and more worried about Ashley.
When they finally did track the phone, they realized it was at Saint Joseph’s Hospital. That’s when Bryant panicked. By the time he and his mother got to the hospital, they received the news they were dreading. They couldn’t believe what they heard.
“The doctor say my daughter die,” the mother cried. “The doctor say my daughter die, Ashley die.”
Ashley was dead, the victim of a horrible hit and run. What’s worse is that, at the time the family spoke with News Channel 8, the driver was still out there.
The family begged for the public’s help in finding the driver who killed Ashley. The family’s prayers were answered less than 24 hours later.
Nikolaos Konstantinou, 56, of Clearwater, was arrested Thursday evening at his home. He has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death. His 2002 Hyundai has been seized as evidence.
Officials said Konstantinou attempted to file a GEICO insurance claim for his damaged 2002 Hyundai. The insurance agent became suspicious of the extensive damage to the vehicle and contacted the Florida Highway Patrol.
The family is still heartbroken, knowing this arrest will never bring back their precious daughter. But, they are also relieved to know the accused killer is in custody and cannot hurt anyone else.
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