DENVER, Colo. - On a cold and snowy night last March, Zama Bee was walking her two boys home from Friday night services at a mosque, ready to feed them dinner.
But close to home, these refugees from Burma were hit by a sport utility vehicle going so fast that the oldest boy, 8-year-old Za May Khan, was killed instantly, his body so mangled it could be identified only through dental records. His younger brother, 6-year-old Ah Zet Khan, died shortly afterward at a hospital, in the arms of his aunt.
"We had a lot of hope when we first came to the United States with our two boys," said Bee, through a translator. "But after this, we feel lost."
The hit-and-run driver who killed her boys was among the one in five motorists in Denver who drive away after killing or injuring others. Despite traffic cameras, instant public notifications, sophisticated investigations and new, tougher laws, police remain frustrated by the dozens of hit-and-run cases, including the one involving the Khans, that might never be solved.
And the clock is ticking. Investigators are in a race against time to file charges before the statute of limitations expires on such cases — even the ones involving death.
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