Hit-and-run suspect arrested after nearly two year investigation

John Burke of Tampa arrested Wednesday
Posted at 11:25 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 05:53:57-04

“This guy tore our family apart,” said Brian Fransen.

Fransen is thinking about the last time he saw his Aunt, 80 year old Virgina Hughes.

“She was going to the store to get her prescriptions which we usually pick up for her, but that night she wanted to go by herself,” said Fransen.

Hughes never made it to the store. Detectives say she was hit by a car while crossing US 19 at Moog Road.
Fransen was the first family member to arrive on scene.

“First they told me they weren’t sure if it was her, but then I glanced over I saw a sneaker in the road,” said Fransen holding back tears.

What would have been just an accident turned more serious when the driver took off after the crash. Fortunately not before witnesses snapped pictures of the vehicle and its plates. Detectives eventually tracked down the black BMW with front end damage at its owner's Tampa home.

“How can somebody just leave someone in the road like that,” said Fransen.

Franzen says after nearly two years and no arrest, frustration turned into anger.

“We were told all over the news they had the car and the person that day,” said Fransen.

But detectives say finding evidence and witnesses to place the suspect John Burke behind the wheel at the time of the accident didn’t pan out until just recently.

“She was 80 years old but full of life,” said Fransen.

A life cut short in a split second but for Fransen and others who loved her, its a second that will cause emotional pain that will last a lifetime.

The suspect,John Burke, sits in a Pasco County Jail facing charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving death.