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Buckeye police still searching for suspect in hit-and-run that killed teen

The reward for information on the suspect who killed Anaiah Walker has increased to $12,000

BUCKEYE, Ariz — It's been more than two years since a 16-year-old in Buckeye was killed in a hit-and-run, and now police are stepping up efforts to get information on who is responsible.

On May 22, 2020, the Buckeye Police Department said they found Anaiah Walker along the Interstate 10 median just west of Watson Road. Investigators believe she was killed by a car that left the scene.

"She meant everything to the family," said her father, Adrian Walker, remembering how she would light up any room. "A lot of people loved to be around her," he said. All this time later, he and his family have not given up hope that the person behind his daughter's death will be caught.

On Wednesday, the Buckeye police announced they increased the original reward for information leading to an arrest by $10,000.

Walker said he is elated to have the reward increased but said it didn't get to this point. “I hate for this to be the motive, but we’re desperate and need answers and need closure,” Walker said.

As of now, the only information authorities have on a possible suspect is the car they were believed to be driving. A midnight burgundy Honda Civic made between 2016 and 2018. 

"They took a big piece of us when they took her," Walker said.

Officially, the Buckeye Police Department is calling the incident a death investigation. It is unknown who the driver of the car was or if there was a motive. However, Walker believes Anaiah was intentionally hit. Telling 12News, she fell victim to sex trafficking at 13 years old when she ran away from a group home. Walker said. “She was forced into that life, unfortunately.”

The Mesa Police Department listed Walker as a runaway in December 2019. Just a few months before she was killed.  

In her honor, they have created a foundation in Anaiah's name to raise awareness. "We would hate for anyone to suffer the same fate that our daughter did. It's so painful," her father said.

If you have any information about this case, you’re asked to contact Buckeye police at 623-349-6400.

You can also remain anonymous by calling the department’s tip line at 623-349-6411 or emailing bpdtips@buckeyeaz.gov.

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