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A 6-year-old girl is dead after her 8-year-old brother took her for a joyride and crashed in south Phoenix on Wednesday night.
The mother of the children believed they had been kidnapped after discovering both of them and the family's car missing shortly after 10 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department.
The mother, who lived within walking distance of crash scene, frantically went door-to-door in the neighborhood looking for her children when she saw the police activity. She walked to the scene and discovered it was her children, Martos said.
The mother had given the kids a bath, put them in their pajamas and in bed about 9:30 p.m. She also went to bed, but woke up and checked on them a little more than a half hour later and called police to report the possible kidnapping.
Police started receiving numerous 911 calls about 10:15 p.m. that Martos said police would later learn were all related.
The first report involved in a hit-and-run crash near 19th Avenue and Yavapai Road where the car struck a fence and continued on.
A second caller reported the car at 19th and Southern avenues and noticed two children in the car, one believed to be driving.
Police then received a call from the mother who said she thought her children had been kidnapped.
Police, believing the children had possibly been kidnapped, were following the car and tried to get the vehicle's driver to pull over when it veered to the right and hit a pole at 19th Avenue and Cocopah Street, just south of Buckeye Road, Martos said.
That's when police discovered the driver was the 8-year-old boy. He was hospitalized with minor injuries. His sister, Aaliyah Felder, later died at Phoenix Children's Hospital, Martos said. Both were still dressed in their pajamas.
The children's aunt, Zakeeya Habeel, told CBS 5 News, "We care deeply about her. But, we don't want him to feel like it's all his fault. So, we're just trying to kind of be like - we know you tried to stop the car. So, it's just a hard burden on a child to have."
She said the family is working on getting an account set up to help with Aaliyah's funeral expenses.
Martos said police did not know what prompted the children to leave in the car and that the investigation was continuing - although criminal charges are not expected.
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