Car buyer hits toddler with vehicle as he leaves seller's home

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Toddler victim of hit-and-run
azfamily.com

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police say a man who was at a home to buy a car hit the seller's son with the vehicle as he left.

According to Officer James Holmes, the boy's father had listed a vehicle for sale on Craigslist and the suspect went to the home near 61st Avenue and Indian School Road to purchase it Monday afternoon.

Holmes said the 16-month-old had been in the driveway with the men as the transaction was completed and the father went back inside, thinking the child was following him.

Moments later the father heard screaming from the driveway and went out to find the suspect, identified as 49-year-old Eddie Ortega, holding the child and saying that he had fallen down in the driveway.

The man handed the child to the father and left in a 2000-2004 tan Ford Explorer.

Holmes said the parents took the child to a hospital where it was determined that his injuries were too extensive for a fall. Police later found indications that he had been struck by a vehicle. The child's injuries are considered critical.

Police have located Martinez and say that after an extensive interview, detectives determined that the suspect knew the child was hurt but did not know his truck had hit the child.

The investigation in ongoing and it is unclear whether charges will be filed against Ortega.