Family seeks clues in man’s death
October 19, 2017
The aunt of a man killed in a hit and run last summer is hoping someone will come forward to provide a clue in the death of her nephew.
Roberto Palomar-Espinoza, 21, was killed sometime early in the morning of July 1 after being struck by a vehicle around 5 a.m. on Fremont Street in north Carson Valley.
Maria Prado-Espinosa said she was pregnant with her daughter when Roberto was born.
"You have to know them to know that this boy was so loved by his parents," she said. "He was an only child, but he had a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles, and they all cared for him."
Prado-Espinosa said she is frustrated that no one has come forward in the case.
"That somebody would do something like this, and not stay and face the consequences …" she said. "He's not a thing, a garbage can. He's a human being. I just don't understand it. How long can you live with that guilt? It's frustrating that somebody is not going to say what they did."
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Prado-Espinosa said she posts something every month to Roberto's Facebook page.
"The first of each month I write on his Facebook page that his killer's still out there," she said. "I'm angry, and I'm not going to stop until I find something. Somebody has to say something."
Prado-Espinosa said she realizes that her family isn't the only one to lose a loved one to a hit and run.
"But when it happens to you, it's totally different," she said. "There's no closure. We can't move on until we find out what happened."
She said she wants people to know that Roberto's death is still under investigation.
"We have no idea who did it or why," she said. "If it was an accident, why didn't they stay? I don't understand."
She said it wasn't unusual for Roberto to walk home. He worked at the Gardnerville Chevron and would walk from his job.
The family was told he was at a bonfire party that night and then went to another party at someone's home.
"The kids said he decided he wanted to go home and left the party," she said.
He was the only child of Roberto Palomar and Catalina Espinoza. He lived in Carson Valley all his life and graduated from Aspire Academy High School in 2015.
"His father was a hard working individual," Prado-Espinosa said. "His mother is a hard worker. They worked hard to give Roberto a nice life. They did not engage in gossip, they did not care for drama. They worked and went back home and hang out with family."
She said her nephew received his driver's license just before he died.
"He was a regular teenager, he got into trouble," she said. "He fought with his parents and disagreed with many people. His life wasn't perfect, but I don't know anyone who has a perfect life. Roberto made good and bad choices, just like any other person. Roberto wasn't a part of any gang. He was a good friend. He didn't judge people. He didn't deserve to be left for road-kill."
He planned to attend Western Nevada College.
"He had plans and now they're gone," Prado Espinosa said. "We won't know what his kids would have looked like if he got married. He's just gone. We'll never know what his life would have been like."
Anyone with information may contact Douglas County Investigator Leland Love at 782-6299 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Trooper Doug Hildebrand at 775-687-9717 or email@example.com, regarding case No. 170700025. Callers may also contact Secret Witness at 782-7463.
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