The Main Stream

Jan 18, 2013 8:23 PM by Erika Flores

Family of hit-and-run victim says someone impersonating them for cash

TUCSON - A family is in pain over the death of their loved one and now they say they have been victimized yet again.

Teenager Ruby Martinez was walking along the side of the road when she was struck by a car.

It happened last week near Nebraska and San Joaquin.

The driver didn't stop but later returned to the scene.

The family picked up flyers from 13 businesses where donation bins they didn't even know about were placed.

People have been filling the donation bins thinking the money would go to the family to help them pay for Ruby's funeral, but the family said they haven't seen any money from these bins which the Martinez family has found in over a dozen businesses.

"It's very upsetting," said Dora Martinez, Ruby's mom. "With all their hearts, people have been donating and trying to help us, but those people are taking the donations."

The Martinez family said they've suffered enough with losing Ruby last week.

"Oh, we haven't been able to concentrate on anything since then," said Martinez.

Now, they said a woman calling herself a family member has been going around town leaving bins at local businesses then returning to collect the money.

"She said it was to collect money for Ruby's funeral," said a woman we'll call "Elvia" who works at one of those businesses.

She doesn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation.

"The next day, she came and there was money in the bin, and she took the money and left the bin for more donations," said "Elvia."

The family said Ruby's coworkers had flyers with a bin at the Peter Piper Pizza where Ruby used to work.

The family thinks the scammer must have taken a flier and made copies to place with her bins.

"They are profiting off of someone else's pain and that's just not right. No one should do that," said Arturo Martinez, Ruby's dad.

There is a bake sale at Peter Piper Pizza that's going on until close Friday, January 18.

The family is asking businesses to request an ID if anyone tries to place a donation bin on their behalf and call police if the person is suspicious.

You can donate to the family at Wells Fargo in the name of Esmeralda Martinez.

Ruby's funeral is Wednesday, January 23 at 10 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Parish at 602 W. Ajo Way.

Later, the community is invited to say their last goodbyes at a viewing at Martinez Funeral at 3 p.m. at 2580 S. 6th Avenue.

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