HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (FOX 13) - Hillsborough County deputies tracked down the pickup truck Friday they believe was involved a hit-and-run crash that killed a 19-year-old pedestrian this week.
According to detectives, between Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning, Mostafa Abdalla was walking south on Orient Road, north of Hanna Avenue in Tampa when he was hit by a teal-green pickup truck.
A vehicle fitting that description was found parked behind a house that, according to neighbors, is on Westinghouse Avenue. A witness to the investigation said it was hidden under a tarp and had significant front-end damage.
"We started immediately getting tips in through the public and one of those tips led us to a 1998 Dodge 1500 Ram pickup truck that had the damage that was consistent with the crash," said Det. Larry McKinnon, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "We have now seized that vehicle, we're processing it for evidence and we're interviewing the owner."
As of late Friday night, however, no arrests have been made.
The discovery comes two days after Abdalla's family held an emotional news conference during which they pleaded for information.
"I'm not going to let it go. I'm going to get justice for my brother, for my best friend and for my family," said Abdalla's sister, Miriam Abdalla. "[If] you've seen him or you know who he is and you're not speaking up, well shame on you because you're hurting somebody else and we're going to find you."
McKinnon credited that news conference for a series of tips that helped lead detectives to the pickup truck.
Abdalla's loved ones told FOX 13 they were too exhausted to discuss the case Friday, but his sister's pain was earlier clear this week.
"How heartless can you be to leave someone laying there from 10:30 until 2:30 in the morning?" she said. "For me to imagine him just laying there, lifeless, with no life, it hurts me because he was full of life. He had all the life in the world in him."
Family and friends said Abdalla was an uplifting person who was always smiling. He played basketball, loved to cook, and aspired to major in culinary arts.