TAMPA (FOX 13) - As the family of a motorcyclist killed in a hit-and-run crash last week prepares to bury their loved one in his hometown in Panama, they're frustrated Tampa police have not yet made an arrest.
Ruben Mcella was riding his motorcycle down Waters Avenue March 5 when a pickup truck drove out in front of him. Mcella was killed, his bike was left mangled.
"Everyday is a little bit more difficult, just to realize that he's not here anymore," Ruben'swidow, Jennifer Mcella-Manzano, said Tuesday. "I just feel like my life has turned upside down. I will never be the same again."
Mcella-Manzano said she expected there would have been arrest by now; the driver of the pickup truck ditched the vehicle and ran away.
"They need to find him because he took a very valuable person in my life," she said.
Police know who owns the truck and officers have spoken with that person, whose identity is not yet being released.
TPD spokesperson Steve Hegarty told FOX 13 the driver reported his vehicle stolen after the crash. Police are not saying who they think was behind the wheel.
"Until we can conclusively say who was driving the truck you won't see an arrest in this case," Hegarty said. "We think we're getting close but if the widow is frustrated by this, believe me we share her frustration."
For now, Mcella-Manzano and her family will focus on remembering Ruben, a father-of-three who always put his loved ones first.
"He made me the person I am today," she said, adding she was always uncomfortable with him riding his motorcycle. "I used to tell him that I don't want him riding no more. But that was something that was part of him."
Mcella-Manzano said she had to set up an online fundraising page to cover the family's expenses. She, her mother and her 4-year-old daughter are flying to Panama Wednesday morning. Ruben will be laid to rest in his hometown.
"It gets harder and harder everyday just to realize that my husband is not here anymore," she said.
Investigators have been looking at surveillance video from that area to try to place someone behind the wheel. Anyone with information should call Tampa Police.