OLMSTED TOWNSHIP, Ohio - An 80-year-old Olmsted Falls woman has been indicted in connection with the death of a teenager killed by a hit-skip driver.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday that Helen Fettes was indicted on one count of vehicular homicide, one count of failure to stop after an accident and one count of tampering with evidence. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, January 17.
On Oct. 17, police said 13-year-old Charles Kho Jr. was struck by a car while walking along Cook Road in Olmsted Township at about 7 p.m. He was with friends passing out invitations to his 13th birthday party. The driver left the scene.
Kho was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day – on his birthday.
The medical examiner's office said Kho died from blunt force trauma to his head and the manner of his death was an accident.
Police immediately began searching for the driver, and were tipped off by Dina Hanrahan, who is the office manager at the Ganley Automotive Body Shop. She told police that Fettes brought her car in for body work. Hanrahan said she became suspicious because Fettes was acting strange and insisted on paying for the damage without reporting the accident to her insurer.
"Who doesn't call the police?" Hanrahan asked in a telephone interview with NewsChannel5. "When you wake up and your car is shattered? Why wouldn't you report that?"
Hanrahan said she's glad Fettes was not acting like herself because her vehicle may have gotten fixed.
"Had she come in there and not acted in that way? She probably would have gotten away with it," she said from her home in Middleburg Heights.
Officers towed the car from the body shop the next day.
Police said Fettes had no criminal history and a clean driving record. She was arrested a short time after the crash, but was released to family due to medical reasons.
During a news conference Friday afternoon, Kho’s teen sister, Callie, said the whole situation is still unreal to her, but she said she’s glad justice is still being served.
Kho's mother, Ali, said she is overwhelmed with sadness knowing her son will never see a life filled with all his dreams he had for his future. She said Charlie was well beyond his years, already planning on which high school he was going to attend and he was already saving for a car. She said his fun loving personality will be greatly missed, especially this new year holiday.
The Kho family said their faith will get them through this ordeal -- and they must keep pushing forward in Charlie's honor. The idea they will one day see Charlie in heaven again keeps their memory of him alive.
Olmsted Township police chief credited the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, his own department and Ganley auto body with making this arrest happen.
Due to the case being under investigation, police would not reveal any other details on how the teen was hit or how the crash happened.
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