FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Two teenagers were arrested Tuesday night in connection to a Sunday night hit-and-run that killed a girl and her half-sister, the Forest Grove Police Department said.
Capt. Mike Herb with the Forest Gove Police Department said Cinthya Garcia Cisneros of Forest Grove and Mario Echeverria of Cornelius were arrested at about 6:30 p.m. Both are 18 years old.
Herb said they are boyfriend and girlfriend. He also said Cisneros was driving the car.
Police said during a news conference that a tip from a citizen helped lead them to the suspects.
Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday night in Forest Grove. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner said early Tuesday morning that 11-year-old Abigail Robinson died overnight.
Police said the girls were playing outside their home in a pile of leaves that spilled partially over the curb when they were hit at around 8:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of Main Street. Herb said one of the girl's fathers was taking pictures and had returned inside the home to put the camera away when he heard the crash. He rushed outside to find the girls and called 911.
"The Forest Grove Police Department wants to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and to our broader community so affected and so impacted by this horrible tragedy," Herb said during the news conference.
Police said there was a third person in the vehicle at the time of the crash. But that person does not face charges, they said.
The vehicle is owned by that third person's parent, police said.
Police have not yet said how the vehicle ended up going through the leaves.
Cisneros faces charges of failing to perform the duties of a driver. And Echeverria faces charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, Herb said.
On Monday, police said they located the vehicle suspected in the incident. Herb said police still want to hear from anyone who may have seen the 2001 Nissan Pathfinder (pictured in the photo gallery) the night of the incident between 7:45 and when the crash occurred, if they think they may have any helpful information for police.
Forest Grove Police Detective Matt Smith said during the news conference that initially the suspects weren't truthful. But after interviewing them further, it was determined they were involved in the incident, he said.
Police said their investigation is not yet over and the case will likely be referred to the grand jury later this week.
More than 300 people attended a candle light vigil for the girls on Monday night at Sonrise Church in Forest Grove. On Tuesday, the parents issued a statement, thanking the community "for the outpouring of love and support. We feel it, we really feel," they said.
There are tentative plans for a funeral, possibly for both girls, on Saturday.