TAMPA, Fla. — Members of Monica Hoffa's family held back tears Thursday night as they thanked the woman police credit for helping catch the accused Seminole Heights killer.
Officers and investigators swarmed the Ybor City McDonald's Tuesday after store manager Delonda Walker reported an employee left her with his gun in a bag.
Tampa Police have since said that was a key tip that resulted in the arrest of Howell Donaldson III, 24, in the murder of four people in Seminole Heights.
Arrest documents reveal key evidence against suspected Seminole Heights killer
"She took all of that worry that was out there away and she made us all whole again," said Hoffa's father, Kenny Hoffa.
ABC Action News watched as Hoffa's family hugged Walker in what was an emotional meeting 51 days in the making.
"So day one of our family healing started when we got the phone call, but it really started when she turned that gun over to the police," said Kenny Hoffa. "She's a hero to all of us and our family, she's part of our family now."
Bay Area man starts 'Seminole Heights' Heroine' fundraiser
Crime Stoppers agrees to pay McDonald's tipster $5,000 for arrest of Seminole Heights suspect
Hoffa was shot to death October 11 in Seminole Heights. Police didn't find her body until two days later.
After nearly two months with no answers, Hoffa's cousin says the Ybor McDonald's and its iconic golden arches have a new meaning for her family.
"It will always give me a memory of who made my cousin, and everyone else's, justice come to life," said Gaby Gutierrez.