Authorities looking for young son of Utah woman who allegedly injured 8 in hit-and-run

Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-10 19:20:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah woman allegedly injured eight people in a hit-and-run accident in North Las Vegas Thursday night, and now authorities are trying to determine the whereabouts of the suspect’s young child.

Police said 18-year-old Nyakueth Tear of Utah may have been under the influence of drugs when she allegedly hit and injured eight people who were leaving a church in North Las Vegas.

Sgt. Tim Bedwell of the North Las Vegas Police Department said the woman may have been traveling with her 1-year-old son, Janub Tear, but he said they don’t know where the child is.

Bedwell said after Tear was arrested, her mother reported to them that she was worried about the location of the baby boy. Until that point, police were unaware Tear had a son because they didn’t find anything in the car that indicated that was the case.

FOX 13 News reached out to the family at their West Jordan home and spoke with a woman claiming to be Tear’s sister. She contended the child is not in any danger.

“My sister is not the person to go leave her kid somewhere not safe, so he’s safe,” she said. “I talked to him on the phone all the time. He’s fine.”

However, police said the teen’s mother reported that she left home about a week ago with her son and no one has heard about him since.

“We do have some days here that are missing that we don’t know and can’t put together the whereabouts of the child,” Bedwell said.

Authorities believe Tear drove to North Las Vegas and had been living out of her car. Bedwell said police are having a difficult time piecing together what happened to the boy along the way because some of Tear’s family would not cooperate with the investigation.

“We don’t have evidence that there was a crime involved here,” he said. “Our concern is basically for the welfare of the child.”

Tear’s family originally immigrated to the United States from the Southern Sudan more than a decade ago, Bedwell said.  They’re having difficulty communicating with some of them, and according to Bedwell, Tear is not cooperating with investigators.

According to documents from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, Tear was arrested on July 10, 2013 on charges of soliciting sex acts. According to the documents, Tear posted an advertisement online describing herself as an escort. Tear was arrested after an undercover officer made a sex solicitation deal with her.

Following Thursday’s accident, the 18 year old allegedly got out of the car and looked around before speeding off and attempting to flee. Police were able to establish a perimeter and arrest her. She faces multiple charges, including eight felony counts of hit-and-run and eight misdemeanor counts of failure to stop and render aid.

The victims were all related. Seven of them were treated and released at a hospital, but one remains in critical condition. The son of the man in critical condition, Luis Alavez, spoke to FOX 13 News sister station FOX 5 Las Vegas.

“It just came really fast,” he said. “My nephew said, ‘Watch out’ and he pushed me a little bit towards the back, so I wouldn’t get hit, and I just seen them all get hit.”