7News viewer surprises tipsters with reward for solving deadly hit-and-run

(WSVN) - Two South Florida men helped police solve a deadly hit-and-run. They were promised a reward, but never got it. Now a 7News viewer is stepping up with a big surprise. 7’s Brian Entin has this 7 Investigates update.

Victim’s nephew: “If you don’t come forward, you will live in a living hell every day.”

Seventy-six-year-old Hilda Garcia was hit and killed crossing the street back in June.

The driver took off — until these two men came forward. They called Crime Stoppers and Miami Police with the tip that cracked the case.

Tipster: “They told us they had nothing. That it was a cold case. That if it wasn’t for the tip and the help that we did, the gentleman would be walking scot-free because there was no evidence whatsoever.”

The men, who don’t want their faces shown, were promised a $3,000 reward from Crime Stoppers, but never got the money because once they called Miami Police, they were no longer anonymous. You must remain anonymous to qualify for a Crime Stoppers reward.

Tipster: “I was shocked. No one mentioned to me that my name was going to be on the report.”

Crime Stoppers could not pay out the reward, but a 7News viewer saw our story and said she wanted to meet us at a church in the Upper Keys. When we got there, she handed me this envelope.

Anonymous viewer: “I was moved by their moral compass, the charity in their heart to do good and the example that they set for the community in watching it that day.”

The woman doesn’t want her face shown or her name mentioned, but she asked me to bring the envelope to the men who solved the hit-and-run.

Brian Entin: “So here’s the card we received.”

Tipster: “Thank you.”

Inside the envelope was a cashier’s check for $4,000, $1,000 more than the Crime Stoppers reward.

The viewer also included a note.

Tipster (reading note in card): “The gift you gave to the victims was a blessing beyond belief, and I thank you for that and for setting an incredible example to the public. More importantly, to your families.”

The note was signed “Moved by faith in God, your admirer.”

Tipster: “I’m shocked because normally I usually help out people in need. Anytime people need anything, I’ll give the shirt off my back, and for something like this to happen to me, that’s like one in a million.”

Tipster: “I can’t believe it, you know, that there are good people out there.”

The men say they’ll use the money to buy Christmas presents for their families.

Anonymous viewer: “This is a reward given based on faith and love, and I just knew that, you know, this is the direction I needed to take for them.”

The tipsters plan to frame the woman’s letter as a reminder of her generous act of kindness.


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