12-year-old in critical condition after hit-and-run

Polk County Sheriff's Office investigators are looking for help identifying a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that left a 12-year-old girl seriously injured early Monday morning. 

The crash occurred at approximately 2:15 a.m. about 100 yards south of Fairway Road and Marigold Avenue. According to a sheriff's office spokesperson, 12-year-old Myrthel Michel was crossing the southbound lane of Marigold Avenue when she was struck by an unknown vehicle. She was flown to the hospital where she is in critical condition. 

A witness described the vehicle to authorities as a recent model 4-door sedan that was possibly silver in color, with square or rectangular tail lights. The witness also told investigators that the vehicle slowed down after hitting the child, then accelerated away from the scene heading south on Marigold Avenue. 

According to Polk Sheriff's Office, the 12-year-old snuck out of the house Sunday night. Her parents reported her missing to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at 5:15 a.m. Monday, but by that time she had already been struck by the vehicle and the hit-and-run investigation was underway. 

The family said they had last seen her at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Sunday and were not aware that she was missing or injured. Michel's parents traveled to Tampa to be with their daughter at the hospital. 

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at (863) 298-6200. 

Those with information who want to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or visit www.P3tips.com to submit a tip online.