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Family, neighbors remember Hartford woman killed in hit-and-run

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HARTFORD -- Police are still looking for the driver involved in a hit-and-run on Garden Street early Sunday morning. Felicita Ayala, the woman struck in the crash, died from her injuries.

On Wednesday, Ayala's family members placed candles at a tribute outside her apartment complex. She'd lived there for more than 20 years and was a sort of motherly figure in the area.

Felicita Ayala

Felicita Ayala

"She was always giving advice to all the kids. If she had candy, or lollipops -- she went to the store and would buy them whatever," said Ayala's cousin, Yolanda Santiago. 

Her brother Ivan told Fox CT he is still too broken-up to return to work. Ayala, known affectionately as "Fela," had a large, close-knit family. Santiago said Ayala was especially tight with her son.

"He went to a good college, he went to army," she said. "That was her baby no matter what." 

Police said Ayala was crossing the street near her apartment around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when what's believed to be a white or tan SUV hit her.

Dep. Chief Brian Foley said investigators are still sifting through surveillance video in both the immediate and surrounding areas.

He added that the time this accident occurred makes the investigation trickier. There weren't many witnesses with "impactful" accounts, Foley said.

Santiago said she wasn't sure why her cousin was outside at that hour, but the entire Ayala family is searching for justice.

"I just hope they find who did it," she said, choking back tears.

Santiago and Felicita's other relatives are asking whoever is responsible to come clean.

"Don’t keep hiding. Don’t keep running, please," said Santiago.

Hartford Police ask anyone with information about this hit-and-run to call them or submit an anonymous tip by clicking here