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    'I can't get closure until he's caught': Mom hopes for arrest in son's hit-and-run death

    By Austin L. Miller, Ocala Star-Banner,


    At age 6, Amberlee Roberson is aware of her surroundings and loves asking question. One question Amberlee keeps asking concerns her father.

    Amberlee's father, Justin Roberson, was killed in a hit-and-run crash in northeast Ocala several years ago. The crash has left Roberson's family heartbroken, especially now that his daughter is growing up. She eagerly wants to know more about her father and the circumstances surrounding his death.

    "It's hard for me because I don't know what to tell her," said Becky Fiore, Roberson's mother and Amberlee's grandmother, who lives in Orlando. Amberlee lives with Fiore's niece in Jacksonville.

    Arrest warrant issued for suspect

    Roberson was crossing Northeast 14th Street from north to south when an older model Ford F-150 crew cab maroon-colored pickup truck traveling westbound in the outside lane hit him, according to Ocala police.

    The vehicle drove away, leaving Roberson in the roadway. His body was seen by a police officer who was in the area, and the official blocked traffic. Roberson died at the scene.

    It was dark when the crash occurred in the 2500 block of Northeast 14th Street on May 13, 2020. A painter, Roberson was living in Ocala, had a job, and was on his way to work when he was hit.

    Esvin Rolando Lopez Herrera, who also goes by the name Rolando Lopez Herrera, was identified by police officials as the person driving the truck. A nationwide warrant has been issued for Herrera's arrest, who faces charges of leaving the scene of a crash without rendering aid involving death, no valid driver's license, and tampering with evidence.

    During their investigation, officers said they went to Herrera's Ocala job site. He worked as a roofer. His last known address is in Belleview, but police could not find him. They believe he may have fled the country.

    "I just wish he would come back. Just be a man. I think he's still out of the country," Fiore said.

    Questions about her father

    When Roberson, 33, died, he left behind Amberlee. As Amberlee grows, questions about her father continue to be her focal point. Fiore said she tells her granddaughter her father died in an accident. She said she hasn't given her granddaughter any details about her father's death.

    Despite her questions, Amberlee is comforted by frequently telling her grandmother that her father is "in heaven watching over her," and she "talks with him."

    "We talk about him a lot. We try to keep his memory alive," Fiore said.

    Presently in kindergarten, Amberlee has adopted some of her father's qualities.

    "She likes to read, just like her father. She acts like him, talks like him. When I look at her, she looks like him," Fiore said.

    Taking it one day at a time

    Since her son's death, Fiore has experienced some heartaches of her own. Last year, her husband died of a stroke.

    "I'm working, so that keeps me occupied," she said.

    Praying for closure:A mother's plea for closure on the third anniversary of her son's death

    As a paralegal, Fiore has seen cases similar to her son's. For now, Fiore said she's "taking it one day at a time." But despite being upbeat, Fiore is hoping for one thing.

    "Closure. I can't get closure until he's caught," she said.

    Anyone with any information about this case can call the Ocala Police Department at (352) 369-7000, Crime Stoppers at 352-368-7867, or visit

    Contact Austin L. Miller at

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