Police in Detroit say they have arrested a man accused of striking and killing an 8-year-old boy with his SUV before driving away from the scene this weekend.
According to WXYZ Brandyn Starks’ parents say he was autistic and sneaked out of the house Saturday to walk to a nearby park.
Along the way, he was struck by a vehicle witnesses described as a green, older model Chevrolet Tahoe that sped through a red light.
Starks was taken from the scene to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The victim was reportedly the youngest of five siblings.
His mother, Brandy Starks, said that he was “always so friendly” to people, even if they didn’t accept him based on his autism.
Prior to the arrest of a suspect, she pleaded with the person responsible to confess.
“Where you went wrong was you left him, but you can make this right, because there is forgiveness in heaven for you, and Brandyn would forgive you, so I’m asking you to show my son the same decency,” she said.
Authorities in Ecorse say they detained a 27-year-old man in connection with the hit-and-run fatality. The arrest began as a traffic stop, but initial reports offered few additional details.
According to police, investigators have not yet found the vehicle involved in the collision.
Joe Starks began an online fundraiser in an effort to help with expenses, though a commenter identified as Amanda Montgomery Cross wrote that a funeral home has offered to assist with funeral costs.
“Joe and I plan to stay in Michigan until we can bring our boy home,” she wrote, expressing gratitude to those who have reached out to the family.
“We appreciate each one of you,” she wrote. “There are no words to describe this [loss] or pain.”
Reports indicate Brandyn Starks’ funeral is scheduled for Friday at Trinity Chapel in Detroit.
[Featured image: Brandyn Starks/GoFundMe]