Victim's family reacts after arrest made in deadly Middletown hi - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Victim's family reacts after arrest made in deadly Middletown hit-and-run

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Barbara eddinger was struck and killed by Charles Demoranville in a hit-and-run in Middletown, police said. (Facebook, WFSB, Middletown police photos) Barbara eddinger was struck and killed by Charles Demoranville in a hit-and-run in Middletown, police said. (Facebook, WFSB, Middletown police photos)
Charles Leroy Demoranville. (Middletown police photo) Charles Leroy Demoranville. (Middletown police photo)
Barbara Eddinger was killed in a hit-and-run in Middletown in March 2016.  (Facebook) Barbara Eddinger was killed in a hit-and-run in Middletown in March 2016. (Facebook)
Investigators eyed the suspect's SUV back in April of 2016. (WFSB file photo) Investigators eyed the suspect's SUV back in April of 2016. (WFSB file photo)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

A food delivery driver was arrested and appeared in court in connection with a year-old hit-and-run case that left a Middletown woman dead.

Police identified the suspect as 47-year-old Charles Leroy Demoranville of Haddam. He's accused of hitting and killing 61-year-old Barbara "Bobbi" Eddinger while she was putting a letter in her mailbox on March 31, 2016.

"The timing is all wrong," daughter-in-law Janina Eddinger said. "He was on the other side of town when I was talking to him on the cell phone." 

An arrest warrant was recently applied for and granted, officers said. Police charged Charles Demoranville with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility.

Police said he turned himself in on Tuesday morning. He faced a judge afterward and was held on a $50,000 bond.

"I feel he didn't do it because if he hit that lady he would have stopped and called the police," Donald Demoranville, who is the suspect's brother, said.  

The incident happened on Chamberlain Road.

Sources told Eyewitness News in April of 2016 that police received a phone tip from someone who ordered Chinese food in the area around the time of the hit-and-run.

According to the arrest warrant, two people came forward saying a food delivery man was in the area the day of the crime and when he came to the door, he was "rude and in a rush" and also looked his he was "starting to sweat." 

Charles Demoranville delivers Chinese food. Police confirmed on Tuesday that Charles Demoranville was delivering food from a Middletown restaurant at the time of the incident.

"He would never do this. He would never do it," Donald Demoranville said. 

Charles' wife, Mary Demoranville, said that she and Charles Demoranville own the SUV. She acknowledged that he was in the area at the time of the hit-and-run, but claimed he was not involved.

Mary Demoranville said that there was no damage to his vehicle, despite Eyewitness News cameras capturing investigators closely inspecting it. Sources also said there was little-to-no damage.

Also in the warrant, an expert looked at the SUV saying the front bumper is composed of "heavy duty steel," which despite the collision with the victim and the mailbox, would not result in or show any damage on the bumper. 

The vehicle was at Middletown Police Headquarters for several days in April 2016 after police found it on Saybrook Road, where the Demoranvilles live.

Eddinger was well-known in the Middletown and surrounding communities. She owned a gardening business. 

"To have lost mum so suddenly and she was such integral part of our family," Janina Eddinger said. "She was the matriarch of our family." 

According to court officials, Charles Demoranville has no pending cases against him. However, he a prior conviction for criminal trespass.

The attorney for Charles Demoranville, Jake Donovan, told Eyewitness News that this is all circumstantial evidence. 

"They've been looking at him for well over a year," Donovan said.

When asked why police arrested Charles Demoranville this week, his attorney responded to Eyewitness News. 

"That's a good question. That's about all I can say right now," Donovan said.

The next court date for Charles Demoranville is May 16.

As for the Eddinger family, they're trying to pick up the pieces and move forward. 

"We will see what justice prevails. I don't have a strong option one way or another what happens," Janina Eddinger said. "In the fact that, him going to jail or him being prosecuted to the fullest extent won't bring her back. Once she's gone. She's gone." 

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