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3-year-old dies in hit-and-run; mother pleads for help

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jyrie Timothy Matthews, 3, was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night after his mother said she pulled over in the Clearwater Village Shopping Mall parking lot because her car was overheating.

“He ended up grabbing his basketball, got out the car, and started dribbling the basketball,” Lakiea Murry, Jyrie’s mother, said. “I didn’t see him at that time, and I didn’t hear no balls, but when I went around the corner in the back of the car that’s when I see him just laying there.”

Murry says her son was always latched at her hip and still was the day he died. She says her car began overheating about 7:30 p.m. Monday, so she pulled over into the shopping center’s parking lot off 82nd Street near Allisonville to give the vehicle a chance to cool off. She says she and Jyrie went to the bathroom and then got back in the car. She says she was in the driver’s seat when he got out of the car to play with his basketball, until she couldn’t hear the ball bouncing anymore.

“As I was still picking him up, I was looking and one thing I saw seemed like it was like a white car. I’m thinking it might be, like, an SUV,” Murry said.

That would be the only detail she could give police as Jyrie was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She says he later died at the hospital.

“He was a 3-year-old baby. I know you have to hear something,” Latina Mathews, Jyrie’s aunt, said. “You had to, and several people leave the scene because they feel they’re going to go to prison, but you make it worse when you run off.”

The family describes Jyrie as a fun-loving spirit who loved to play basketball.

As the family hopes and waits for the person responsible to come forward or for police to find them, Murry says, she finds some comfort in knowing Jyrie’s last moments were spent doing exactly what he loved, playing basketball.

“Mommy is going to miss you so much. I’m going to miss my baby so much,” Murry said.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says they are checking surveillance cameras in the lot to see if they can get a description of the car or the person driving. Anyone with information on this case was urged to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.