Family “relieved” after hit-and-run suspect comes forward

Janeth Wilson says she and her family can forgive Lopez because he accepted responsibility.
Janeth Wilson says she and her family can forgive Lopez because he accepted responsibility.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Garden City police have a person in custody in connection with that fatal hit and run from over the weekend.

Officials say Rafael Lopez was arrested after he turned himself into the police.

“We’re, I think, relieved,” said Janeth Wilson, whose grandmother, Maria Leonarda Macias de Ubiarco, was killed in a hit and run on Saturday.

“He advised investigators that he was the driver,” said Sergeant Andy Roush with the Garden City Police Department.

After thousands shared the GCPD’s post about it on social media, 62 year old Rafael Lopez of Garden City came forward.

Police interviewed and later arrested Lopez on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality, failing to provide information at the scene of an accident, and interference with law enforcement.

Police say the Facebook post helped generate a lot of community response.

“The Garden City Police Department would really like to thank the community and the multitude of people that came forward that provided information and tips,” said Roush.

The Finney County attorney tells KSN that because the investigation is ongoing, it’s unknown at this time what charges will be filed in the case.

Now, for the victim’s family, they are one step closer to healing.

“I think it’s going to be quite a process for us to accomplish full closure because of how it happened,” said Wilson, “but I think we’re on that road, on that path.”

She thanks the countless friends and strangers who have reached out in support of her and her family.