COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - An East Naples family is finally getting closure seven years after a fatal hit and run accident.
The family of Macario Ramirez spoke exclusively to WINK News just minutes after learning deputies arrested Sinar Escalante.
Escalante was arrested Sunday after deputies found him sleeping in his car with a bag of cocaine in his lap. Just a few hours later they were able to connect Escalante to the 2005 hit and run through a fingerprint ID.
It was an emotional day for the Ramirez family as they heard the news that the man accused of killing 24-year-old Macario Ramirez was now behind bars.
"I feel a lot more calm now that the police have found him," says Francisco Ramirez, Macario's brother.
Francisco remembers the day his little brother died like it was yesterday. He says he was a great father, brother and uncle and didn't deserve to die so young.
"He was the baby of the family and when he died we were struck with sadness," says Francisco.
On September 6, 2005, Macario Ramirez pulled over on the side of Six L's Farm Road in East Naples with his girlfriend behind him.
He used the head lights of her car to give him enough light so he could fix the license plate on his cousin's car. That's when deputies say Sinar Escalante hit the back of the car, crushing Ramirez between the two vehicles.
Escalante fled the scene and wasn't found until Sunday.
"If he would have turned himself in at the time, we would have forgiven him, but not now. Thank God the Sheriff's office found him," says Francisco.
For seven years his family has held on to pictures, the original accident report and the hope that one day justice would be served.
"It's a hard thing that we all went through and we hope that guy will do his time," says Humberto Ramirez, Macario's nephew.
Deputies issued a warrant for Escalante's arrest in 2006. They believe he fled to Mexico during the investigation.