ATLANTA — A grandmother and her two grandchildren were killed by a driver fleeing from police in 2016 and, until recently, it had been a mystery who that suspect was.
However in December, police made an arrest in the case and the suspect in question appeared for the first time in court on Thursday.
Diontre Tigner, who was 16 at the time of the incident, faces charges of felony murder, reckless driving and hit-and-run, among others.
Authorities said Tigner slammed into the car being driven by 75-year-old Dorothy Wright, with her 12-year-old grandson Cameron Costner and her 6-year-old granddaughter Layla Partridge as passengers, on Jan. 31, 2016.
Joi Patridge, the children's mother, said seeing justice in her family's case is bittersweet, but it doesn't bring her loved ones back.
“Those are my only two kids…just watching them grow…watching them graduate from different levels of school, future marriage and grandkids. I will never have none of that," she said on Friday.
The family and their attorney said authorities told them the suspect was caught in December following a high speed chase, and that authorities matched his DNA to the deadly police chase from 2016.
“Just to see him sitting there almost looking like he wasn’t concerned about what was going on. Asking the judge for house arrest, it almost shocked me," said Floyd Costner, who's 12-year-old son Cameron was killed in the crash.
Costner said even though he has justice, he still has so many questions.
“I would want to know why. What lead up to you even doing this crime in the first place and for you to continue to do it. What’s your thought process? What are you thinking," he told 11Alive.
Joi's 6-year-old daughter, Layla, and her 75-year-old mother were the two other victims killed in the crash. She said while she'll never get over it, she hopes this arrest means no other family will have to go through what she has.
“It’s bittersweet. You can’t bring your family back but to know he’s not out there doing it to someone else. I’m happy about that," she added.