Tsatsos family calls on public to help find hit and run driver
Pausing first to gain her composure, with shaking hands and tears in her eyes, Julie Tsatsos pleaded for her son's killer to come forward.
The mother of Ryan Tsatsos, the 17-year-old Macomb freshman killed in a hit and run Nov. 1, Julie spoke at a Genessee County Crime Stoppers press conference on Nov. 20 to keep the public talking about her son's death. The hit and run driver has still not been found, however crime lab results determined the vehicle is a dark, metallic blue.
To report a tip anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP
On Nov. 1, Julie and Tsatsos' father Paul were at home when the doorbell rang. The couple opened it to hear the worst news of their lives, for a second time. Their youngest son was dead, state police told the parents. Tsatsos' older brother, Darryl, died three months earlier in a car crash following a police chase. Julie said Ryan was just starting to get over his brother's death.
"He came home the weekend before the accident," she said. "I was finally beginning to see the sparkle in his eye and hear the laughter in his voice. We hadn't seen that since July. Now he's gone."
When she thinks about the upcoming holidays, Mother's and Father's days, she dreads the upcoming year.
"Looking into the future is the hardest thing to wrap my head around," Julie said. "I'm never going to meet Ryan's first girlfriend and hear him say, 'Mom, she's the one.' I'm never going to watch him get married. I'm never going to experience the joy of becoming a grandmother and telling his sons they're just like their father."
The night of his death, Tsatsos was on his way back to Merrill Hall with a group of friends after a Halloween party at Deerfield Village. The group was walking north on Crawford Road, an area in Union Township which is poorly lit and has no sidewalks. Tsatsos was wearing black shorts and a red blazer when he was struck and killed. Commander of the Michigan State Police's Mount Pleasant Post Larry Schloegl said police believe the car that hit Tsatsos is a sedan.
"It may have a significant dent to the front fender, even damage on the windshield," Schloegl said. "We can't determine how fast the car was going."
Jeff Daian, Tsatsos' roommate and best friend, was with Tsatsos the night of his death. He said the driver never stopped, or slowed after striking Tsatsos.
Tsatsos' family and friends want his killer to contact police. They want anyone with information to come forward. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the finding of the driver.