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Family says Phoenix police didn’t tell them about relative killed in hit-and-run

Police say Dorothy Jean Dale-Chambers and her boyfriend, Joseph Gutierrez, were hit by a truck and killed near 32nd and Yale streets on April 26.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 3:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A family is mourning the loss of their loved one. Police say Dorothy Jean Dale-Chambers and her boyfriend, Joseph Gutierrez, were hit by a truck and killed near 32nd and Yale streets, south of Thomas Road, on April 26. “The way that she died, it’s not right,” said Dorothy’s sister, Beatrice X. Johnson.

Johnson said that what’s also not right is that no one from Phoenix Police told the family about her death. “My sister laid in the morgue for eight days; they never called my brothers here, my other brothers,” she said.

Instead, her niece found out during a welfare check from a man who knew Dale-Chambers at Perry Park, where she often lived. “He told her he couldn’t talk, and she said, ‘what’s wrong with you?’ And he told her she was killed. That’s how we found out. Eight days later. We are in Phoenix; it’s not hard to find us,” said Johnson.

The Phoenix Police Department has several databases to find next-of-kin; no one came up in this situation. A spokesperson says detectives exhausted all options and were unsuccessful. The family is also calling for justice with the driver Nebojsa Petkovic, who stayed on the scene, and is not facing any charges right now.

“How did he go home that night?!” said Johnson. “How is he not charged yet? That is our question.” A police report shows Petkovic blew a .031, below the .08 blood alcohol legal limit. Officers concluded in the report that he did not show signs of impairment. Still, the Oakland resident wants to see justice. “We want charges, we want him arrested, we want him to be held accountable,” said Johnson. “Justice for my sister Dorothy.” A spokesperson for Phoenix Police said the case is still under investigation, and no charging decisions have been finalized.