Strangers Help Raise $11,250 Reward In Pitt Co. Hit & Run Death Case

A family searching for answers in their son's hit and run death in Pitt County has received donations from the community for an $11,250 reward in the case.

Friday we told you about Brent Lee from Greenville who offered $2,000 to add to the $5 thousand reward offered by Pitt-Greenville Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest in the death of 20-year-old Austin Baeza, a Pitt Community College student who was hit and killed by a vehicle on Belvoir Highway or Highway 33 in Pitt County August 18th. Since Friday, another $4,250 dollars has been donated to help solve the hit and run case. That brings the total to $11,250.

We spoke to Austin's mother from Mooresville in Iredell County Monday on phone about Lee's donation that prompted more people to give.

"I told Mr. Lee I can't wait until the day that I meet him so I can hug him. There's a reason he came into our life, and through this tragedy there have been new friendships, new relationships," said Austin's mother Nicki.

The number for Crime Stoppers is (252) 758-7777. Highway Patrol troopers say Austin was hit by a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Plymouth and it probably had damage to the front end.

A Greenville businessman has increased the reward for information on who killed a college student more than two months ago in Pitt County.

Austin Baeza was struck and killed while walking along Highway 33 on August 18th. The driver of the vehicle that killed the 20-year-old has never come forward.

Brent Lee says he will add $2,000 to the $5,000 reward already being offered in the case by Pitt-Greenville CrimeStoppers.

State troopers say they believe Baeza was struck between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m. by an older model Chrysler product that received damage to the right side, including the mirror.

Anyone with information on the deadly hit and run should call the Highway Patrol at 252-758-5300 or CrimeStoppers at 252-758-7777.