Community shows outpouring of support at vigil for toddler killed in hit-and-run

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of family, friends and loved ones came out to remember Eli Anders, the toddler killed in a hit-and-run crash late Wednesday night.

“I appreciate what all of you have done for me. I appreciate all of you being here,’ said Eli’s mother Ariel to the crowd, overcome with emotion.

Eli was 23 months old. He won’t get to see his second birthday next week.

His loss resulted in an outpouring from loved ones and friends in front of the spot on Nelson Avenue on the south side where he was killed late Wednesday night, not far from the Raymond Street exit of Interstate 65.

Even a few strangers came by to pay respects.

His mother didn’t plan to say anything but couldn’t hold back.

“I appreciate all of you helping and showing us love and Eli was everybody’s baby. He loved everybody,” Ariel said.

There was a prayer, but mostly it was just tears, grieving a life lost way too young.

His sister Amalia had been watching him right before the family was leaving.

“She just looked away for a second,” said Eli’s grandmother, Tonya Anders. “She’s a good mother. That was her baby. It’s not fair that someone thought that it was OK to hit him, my grandchild and leave.”

Now they just want to justice and the driver caught.

“Our family needs peace. My daughter needs peace. She needs closure to this. Stop being a coward and come forward,” Tonya said.

At this time, IMPD has not provided any details about the car or driver who did this.

Neighbors have given several different possible colors of a car but do not appear to have gotten a license plate number.

If you have any information, you can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477.