EUDORA, Kan. — A manhunt is on for a suspect accused of hitting a motorcycle, killing a 10-year-old girl before leaving the scene.
“We have boots on the ground as we’re talking right now that are working to absolutely get this individual identified and then get them here,” Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister said.
The hit-and-run crash happened just after 5 p.m. Saturday on an off-ramp from Kansas 10 Highway to East 1900 Road between Lawrence and Eudora.
Nine-year-old Brooklyn Brouhard died from her injuries. Her grandfather, who was driving the motorcycle, suffered serious injuries, but is recovering well.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office located the van the suspect was driving after a detective with the Lawrence Police Department caught the car license plate reader video leaving the Lawrence area. The van is now in the custody of the sheriff’s department.
“She was able to hone in and she nailed it, found exactly what we were looking for, gave that information to us,” Armbrister said.
Police described the van as a company van that an employee was driving. At this time, they are not revealing the name of the company.
“We drove straight to the location and found the van exactly where it was supposed to be,” Armbrister said.
Officials located the van in Johnson County, changing the course of this investigation. Less than 48 hours after the initial crash, Armbrister said they’re on the right track.
“We feel like we’re working from the high ground at this point, where we have the vehicle and we know where we’re headed,” he said.
“We’re going to take our time to make sure that it sticks. We want the truth so justice will prevail,” Armbrister said.
The location of the crash is just minutes from Brooklyn’s elementary school. Her family said the 4th grader loved gymnastics, coloring, and being with her friends.
“It’s tough anytime there is loss of life. It’s hard, and when that loss is a child, it’s even harder,” said Mark Dodge, an official with the Eudora School District.
Now the city of less than 2,000 school-aged kids will try its best to support one another in what certainly is a difficult time.
“We want friends, family and any staff member that’s had the opportunity to work with this amazing child to know that they’re in our thoughts and prayers,” Dodge said.
If you would like to help this family, a GoFundMe page has been set up.