KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Family members of a good Samaritan who was killed Sunday said their chance for justice is now in the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Early Sunday, a suspected drunk driver struck 58-year-old Cynthia Goulding, who had pulled over on North 59th Street and Nogard Avenue to check on a crash victim.
"She was just trying to help somebody, and he hit her," Stephanie Dixon, Goulding's daughter, said. "He didn't hit the car, he hit her because he was drunk."
Records state that the driver, a 42-year-old man who 41 Action News is not identifying because formal charges have not been filed, was being held at the Wyandotte County Jail on three counts, including driving under the influence and vehicular homicide.
But Tuesday morning when Dixon called the Wyandotte County jail to check on the status of the suspect, she was told the suspect was being released from jail and into custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"They're just going to deport him home?" Dixon said. "So he gets to go home with his family, and my mom doesn't get to go home with hers?"
In a statement, ICE said the 42-year-old man is a Mexican citizen who is in the United States illegally after being deported in 2009. It's unclear how and when he came back into the United States.
"Let him do his time and charges here," Raymond Goulding, Cynthia's husband, said.
Immigration experts said when the suspect was booked into jail, his fingerprints likely alerted ICE of his illegal status.
"There's not very many options to prevent ICE from removing someone they want to remove," Michael Sharma-Crawford, an immigration attorney, said. "There is federal regulation that allows the prosecutor's office to ask ICE to hold it for this prosecution... so it's possible that they could do that if they wished."
The Wyandotte County District Attorney's office couldn't say much Tuesday, only that the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
KCKPD told 41 Action News detectives are waiting to receive the toxicology report, which is dependent on how quick the crime lab can process samples taken on Sunday morning.
"She's [Cynthia] about to have grandkids that she's never even going to meet," Dixon said. "She's never going to get to go to any of their school programs or their concerts. I'm not going to stop until I get justice for my mom."
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.