They spent more than 24 hours watching the cars pass by on Holabird Avenue hoping to spot the Mercedes that struck 13-year old Ashanti Bowers before speeding away when her sister's call to the lead investigator on the case produced the news they'd been looking for.
"I called him, and I was like, 'Did you guys find him?' and he said, 'No. He turned himself in,'" said Kayla Jones who adds police are withholding the 31-year old driver's name until charges can be filed against him, "It turns out he's a Dundalk local. So it's pretty crazy that, you know, Ashanti getting hit so close to home and him being around his area. It's crazy. It just blows everyone's mind, but all of us are thinking maybe he was drinking, since it was St. Patrick's Day."
Police confirm they have a suspect, but the wheels of justice can move painfully slow in such cases.
"Crash team investigations, in general, are very, very highly detailed,” said Cpl. John Wachter of the Baltimore County Police Department, “They take a very long time to complete."
In the meantime, the timetable for the aspiring dancer and seventh grader at Holabird Middle School's recovery from her damaged hip also will require far more patience than expected after her initial surgery on Monday.
"In the x-rays it shows that her bones are broken, but it turns out they were shattered,” said Jones, “Her bone was just shattered, and they couldn't really do much with it considering she was losing so much blood."
As Ashanti prepared to go under the knife for a second time on this day, she appealed to her friends for support through a short video on social media.
"Hey guys. I'm going back into surgery. I'm in so much pain right now. Just pray for me that I get better. Alright. Bye."
Ashanti's sister says after a steady flow of friends visiting her in the hospital, they have since been restricted as the teen moved into the intensive care unit, which is making this whole experience that much more difficult for her.