Tampa police search for clues in boy's hit-and-run death

Tampa police said they are searching for surveillance video to shed light on who hit an 11-year old boy early Saturday morning, and kept driving.

Alexander Torres was a fifth grader at Davis Elementary School in the Town 'N' Country area.

"He was very smart. His favorite subject was science. He was well-versed in science. A lot of the students said he was a great helper," Hillsborough County School District grief counselor Dr. Kimberly Hodges said.

On Monday, those classmates who used to call on him for help were left grieving an unimaginable tragedy. Alex was found dead around 2:30 a.m. Saturday along Hillsborough Avenue. He was the victim of a hit-and-run accident.

"We're looking for witnesses, anyone who has any information to share," Tampa Police Department's Steve Hegarty said.

Hegarty said Torres was first reported missing Friday evening. He'd gotten into trouble at school that day and was disciplined over the phone by his mom. He usually rode his bike home from school, but when he didn't show up by 5 p.m., his family became frantic.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office searched for hours using K-9s and a helicopter.

"If he didn't want to be found, if he was underneath something, that would explain it. But at this point, I don't have an answer of where he was," Hegarty said.

It was a passerby who found Torres' body on the bridge over the Hillsborough River. His bike was nearby, carefully propped up. Police said his backpack was high above, in the bridge's observation tower.

"We don't know how much time he spent in there. We don't know if he went up into the tower and then came down. So we still need to sort all that out," Hegarty said.

Detectives are searching nearby businesses for any surveillance video that could reveal who hit Torres and kept going. One person nearby at the time told police he saw a gray sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima, at the scene.

In the meantime, Torres' classmates are making cards for his family and coming together to heal.

"They're handling the situation the best they know how," Hodges said.

The Tampa Police Department has received a number of tips, but so far, nothing's panned out.

It's still unclear if that gray sedan was the vehicle that hit Torres, or if it was just in the vicinity at the time. Police want to talk to that driver. They're urging anyone with information to come forward.

In addition, there's now a $3,000 CrimeStoppers reward for information leading to an arrest.