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Mother still left waiting on arrest after son killed in Westminster hit-and-run

Marcus Joe Tapia, 29, was killed while crossing Federal Boulevard near 74th Avenue on Oct. 21.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — As cars whooshed by along Federal Boulevard, Alicia Schinke tilted her ear toward the phone in her hands.

The music and voice coming from the small speaker drowned out the traffic.

“I listen to him every day, and that’s how I get to just be close to him still.”

Music and memories are all Schinke has left of her son, Marcus Joe Tapia.

“This is where he finally took his last breath," Schinke said, glancing down at the sidewalk.

At midnight on October 31, Tapia crossed Federal Boulevard at 74th Avenue.

“Somebody came and told me that he had gotten hit by a car," Schinke said.

Westminster Police said the driver of a maroon 2000s Jeep Liberty did not stop. Schinke said the driver dragged her son and left him to die on the sidewalk.

"I just want justice, that’s all," Schinke said. "I just want them to pay for what they did.”

Tapia was 29 years-old. Schinke said he was working hard on his music and wanted to make a living as a rapper. She'll remember him as a "mama's boy."

“He worried about his mom," Schinke said. "He always just took care of me. Even though he was a baby, he always took care of me.”

Schinke always called her grown-up son her "baby boy."

“It’s really hard to sleep," she said. "It’s really hard to eat. It’s really hard to not cry all day. It’s just been a really hard time. Like, this is just the worst thing that’s ever happened to my whole entire family.”

On Oct. 25, Westminster Police said detectives had recovered the Jeep Liberty and identified a person of interest.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the department said the case was still under investigation.

"We do have solid leads in the case, but it could take months before anyone is formally charged," said Westminster PD investigator, Cheri Spottke.

She added that the accident reconstruction could take weeks to complete. Spottke said she understands Schinke's frustration.

"Our goal is to make sure we are able to present a case to the DA’s office that ensures a successful prosecution," Spottke said.

It's been three weeks since Tapia was killed. Schinke has music and memories but not her boy.

"I don’t want to let him go," Schinke said. "It's too soon.”

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