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Community mourns loss of mother killed while walking with two-year-old

Valdosta Police continue to search for person responsible
Posted at 2:16 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 02:16:56-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Valdosta Police Department continues to search for the person responsible for hitting a woman and her two-year-old child as they walked down Marion Street Friday evening.

As investigators search, friends and community members mourn the loss of the mother of three.

Neighbors say Shantana Arnold was pushing a grocery cart when she and her child were hit on Marion Street Friday night. Days later, there's still groceries inside the cart, but now, balloons are there to remember her.

Colette Jones put those balloons up to honor her friend.

"God knows she was sweet. She would do anything for you," she said.

Jones says Shantana Arnold made a quick grocery store run Friday night.

"The person that called me and told me she was gone is the same person she was taking that food right there to," said Jones.

Arnold was hit by a car and killed before she could deliver those groceries.

"I saw that buggie right there flipped over," said Joseph Dyal.

Just before 10 Friday night, Joseph Dyal and his mother Mary Jane woke up to blue lights and sirens outside their window.

"I about killed myself getting out the door. I tried to help but they told me to stay back," he said.

Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan says a dark colored car hit Arnold and her 2-year-old.

Going off of a general description of the car, investigators spent Monday going through surveillance footage in search of clues.

"They're going door to door for residential cameras, ring cameras, businesses in the area," said Chief Manahan.

In the community, this death is serving as a call for more safety.

Elaine Williams says the street needs sidewalks and more street lights.

"This is a wake up call for the community and council people. They're doing a great job but we need to push the issue on certain safety concerns," she said.

While Mary Jane Dyal says speed bumps are also necessary.

"They drive up and down this road like a racetrack. It's a shame people drive like that when there's kids out here playing. We need speed bumps bad," she said.

Arnold's friends say now they want the person responsible to come forward.

"Anybody that know anything, come and say something. We don't know how we gone go out but it's sad when you go out like that," said Jones.

VPD is asking people throughout the city to be on the look out for small black car with damage to the front. Chief Manahan says she now wants to give the family closure.

In Georgia, a hit and run accident that results in death or serious injury is considered a felony. Anyone found guilty can serve a sentence between one to five years.

In Florida, it is ruled a felony, revokes license for 3 years, and a person can serve anywhere between four to 30 years.

If you have any information, call 911, or the Crime Tip Line at 229-293-3091.