‘Nobody should have to bury their child’: mother of hit-and-run victim grieves as search continues

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Dannielle Hopkins sobbed, held her youngest child, and pleaded to the world.

“I wish that person would have stopped,” she said through tears. “Nobody ever thinks that they’re going to have to bury their child. 

“That was not a thought that went in my mind, that I was going to have to bury my kid.”

Hopkins’ son, Dejaven, was killed in a hit-and-run crash on a dark stretch of Jolly Road Saturday night. Hopkins says early Sunday morning, she saw police lights flashing outside the house.

“I knew something was wrong when my son didn’t come back because I know him,” Hopkins said. “I asked did you find somebody here because my son hasn’t been home since 8:30.”


Moments later, Hopkins showed the officers a picture of her son.

“He came back and told me it was my son that they found,” Hopkins said.  “And that someone had called at 1:15.”  

Hopkins says what haunts her the most is the thought that her son could have been left there for hours. She has a message for the man, who police say is named eric, who found DeJaven and stayed wit his body until authorities arrived.

“I just want to thank you for doing that,” she said. “I can’t thank you enough.”

Police continue to search for a suspect. They’re looking for a Chevy S10 or GMC Sonoma made between 1998 and 2004, light in color, with damage to the front passenger side and headlight .In the meantime, the Hopkins’ say they want to do something to make that street safer.

“If there was better lighting,” Hopkins said. “Or a sidewalk. A sidewalk would make it better.”

If you would like to donate to the family’s GoFundMe, click here.

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