Tsatsos parents offer forgiveness, plead suspect in deadly hit-and-run to come forward
ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Three years after their son was killed in a hit-and-run accident, the parents of 17-year-old, Ryan Tsatsos are still looking for the driver of the vehicle, with the hope that they come forward.
The freshman at Central Michigan University (CMU) was walking home shortly after midnight on November 1st, 2015 when he was hit by a car.
The driver did not stop.
Each year since then, on the same day their son died, Ryan’s parents, Julie and Paul send a plea to the public, praying and begging for someone to come forward with information, or turn themselves in.
“We have faith, and that’s what’s getting us through everything, we need to forgive whoever has done this in our hearts, and look at them and they need to see that we truly, truly, truly, do forgive you,” Julie Tsatsos said. “You did not do this intentionally, I firmly believe that, I think it was a true accident.”
Police believe the vehicle that hit Ryan may be dark colored/metallic blue.
“We do believe from evidence at the scene that there may be some damage to the suspect vehicle. It would be on the front passenger side,” said Michigan State Police Sgt. Todd Parsons.
Ryan would have been in his senior year of college at CMU.
“My roll as a father, is relegated to watering the lawn at the cemetery, that’s all I have left,” Paul said.
“Knowing that if you hit something, someone just come talk to somebody and I can imagine if the state they were in they may not have realized what they’ve done it’s got to be just tearing them apart,” Paul Tsatsos said. “And even now with it being Halloween, how can they enjoy anything now, knowing that every Halloween your going to this nightmare of hitting someone.”
State police estimate the driver was going about 80 miles per hour.
“He deserved so much better, its heartbreaking, he deserved so much better,” the pair said.
Police say Ryan pushed a female friend out of the way before he was hit.
The family and Crime Stoppers are offering a $10,000 reward is for any helpful information.
Many of Ryan's friends and classmates have also pleaded for the person responsible to come forward.
“The detective here at the post, and the deputy who took the call still work on this case every week,” Sgt. Parsons said agencies will never give up on Ryan's case.
Ryan’s death isn’t the Tsatsos’ first brush with tragedy. The family lost their oldest son, Darryl, in a car crash, only a few months before Ryan’s death.
Now, they continue to pray that someone gives them peace so they can offer forgiveness.
“We feel lost, we feel empty, I don’t feel I have a purpose, they were my life," Julie Tsatsos said.
“We do not want to take your life away, we’ve all made bad choices, me included, you made a bad choice we don’t want anything bad to happen we don’t want to put you away,” Julie continued. “We want to get you help if that’s what it needs, we just want to work with you not throw another life, like my son’s away.”
If you or someone you know may have seen or heard something- call CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245)