Conning for cash: Family of hit-and-run victim says imposters pocketed donations

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Conning for cash: Family of hit-and-run victim says imposters pocketed donations

CREATED Jan 20, 2013 - UPDATED: Jan 21, 2013

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A sad new twist in the hit and run case that killed 17-year-old Ruby Martinez. The girl's family says people are capitalizing on their daughter's death. 9OYS obtained new surveillance video from inside one of the stores where the family says the money was taken.

In the surveillance video, you see a girl walk into Taqueria Porfis on S. 12th Avenue. Employees tell 9OYS she claimed to be Ruby's sister and walked out with the cash.

"She's profiting off someone else's pain," says Arturo Martinez, Ruby's father. "It's wrong."

Wrong, but widespread. Jars filled with cash were also snatched right next door to Porfis at Chayitos, a local shop. It also happened at a local meat shop. Even at the Circle K on Mission and Drexel, where get this, a woman claiming to be Ruby's grieving mother walked in and asked for the cash.

"It outraged me," says Dora Martinez, Ruby's mother. "Whoever did it, isn't stealing from us, they're stealing from Ruby.

The family tells 9OYS they're stealing from the jarfuls.

"We're told it was 4 or five jars a day and they weren't empty," Dora said. "They were filled with cash."

Store clerks wouldn't talk to KGUN9 on camera, but do say the same impostors showed up more than once.

"It's hard enough losing a daughter and having to ask for help for her funeral," said Arturo. "Now we've had to worry about this."

The family says they hold on to faith. They've raised enough money to cover Ruby's funeral costs, but they want to make sure the public knows, if you see jars around town with the pink posters, don't donate. They say that money is going into someone else's hands.

"People have been so good and giving," says Dora. "I just want to make sure no one else is duped."

The family needed to raise nearly $5,000 to make it happen. They want to make sure the public understands just how grateful they are for the outpouring of support they've received.

The funeral is set for is Wednesday, January 23 at 10 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Parish at 602 W. Ajo Way.  There will also be a viewing at Martinez Funeral from 12 to 9 p.m. at 2580 S. 6th Avenue.