An arrest was made Sunday in a hit-and-run crash on a major north Minneapolis thoroughfare that killed a 37-year-old woman on New Year’s Eve, police said.
Police spokesman John Elder said authorities also recovered the car that struck Aisha Freels about 9:20 p.m. Thursday as she was crossing in the middle of Lyndale Avenue N. toward a waiting cab.
“A number of tips came in through [the police] tip line as well as CrimeStoppers,” Elder said, declining to say more about how the suspect and vehicle were found. “These were helpful in the investigation of this case.”
A 27-year-old Minneapolis woman who lives a little more than a mile from the crash scene was booked into the Hennepin County jail on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide.
Freels was on the east side of Lyndale in the 3900 block when she walked into Lyndale toward the cab that was waiting in a southbound lane and was run over, police said. She was declared dead at the scene. Freels died of “multiple blunt force injuries,” according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
The southbound car then turned west onto 39th Avenue N., police added. Freels was hit outside her home after arranging a ride to celebrate with some friends, said her cousin Valerie Littles-Butler.
The community group MAD DADS held a vigil Sunday afternoon near the spot where Freels was hit.
Eddie Ballard, who raised Freels on the North Side, described her as an affectionate mother and friend. Her children are ages 5 to 16. The two oldest were home at the time, he said.
Ballard said that if he could speak with the driver, he’d say, “You took a beautiful spirit from this world. If this were your mother, sister — anyone you know and love — how would you feel?”
Freels was a hairstylist who frequently braided, cut and sculpted relatives’ hair. She also did the hair of several former Vikings players, including Randy Moss, Ballard said.
She graduated from Minneapolis North High School and studied at the University of Phoenix, according to her Facebook page.