HILLSBORO, Ore. — A woman accused of hit-and-run in the deaths of two Forest Grove girls intentionally ran over a pile of leaves but didn’t know the girls were playing inside the pile, according to statements from investigators.
Affidavits said 18-year-old Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros didn’t know until later Sunday in the Portland suburb that “that she had 'run over’ a child,” The Oregonian reported.
Garcia-Cisneros is charged with felony counts of hit-and-run. Her 18-year-old boyfriend, Mario Echeverria, is charged with hindering prosecution. They were arraigned Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.
One of the girls, 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, died Sunday. Her stepsister, 11-year-old Abigail Robinson, died at the hospital Monday.
Police said the girls were playing across the street from their house in a pile of leaves that extended over the curb and into the street. Abigail’s father was taking pictures and had gone back into the house to put away the camera when he heard the crash, police said.
Garcia-Cisneros, the court records say, initially denied her role in the crash, but eventually said she had been driving and she had purposely driven over the leaf pile. She said there was a “loud bump when she drove over the leaves,” according to the affidavits.
Garcia-Cisneros told police she was scared to come forward. Police say they were tipped off by a person who saw coverage of the accident.
Echeverria told police he took the vehicle to a car wash to get rid of evidence, the affidavits said.
After the deaths, the family released a statement thanking those who’d offered support.
“We made a point of hugging and loving on our girls every chance we could,” it said. “We just want to encourage you — hug your kids. Hug and love on your kids as often as you can. Our girls lived a love-drenched life. We know where they are now — we know they are together in perfect peace with their creator.”
Garcia-Cisneros and Echeverria are due back in court Oct. 30.