by Christin Ayers

OAKLAND (KPIX) — Three years ago, Mykenna Kirkpatrick was struck by a hit-and-run driver on a street in East Oakland.

Kirkpatrick was sitting in the driver seat of her parked car. The door was open and her legs were outside. The impact slammed her car door shut.

“I looked down — I had pretty much thigh-high boots on — so I seen my bone hanging out the boot and my foot right here was all the way twisted around,” she recalled. “What was really going through my mind was that I’m gonna lose my life.”

Instead, she lost her legs.

What Mykenna didn’t know was that while she was in surgery her mother Sophia was on a mission, searching the streets for the blue BMW that hit her daughter.

“Something struck inside of me like a lioness: I’ve got to get to the scene and find out what happened to my baby!” Sophia said.

Sophia says she found a damaged BMW with blood stains on it and paint from her daughter’s car parked in a neighbor’s driveway.

Oakland police towed the suspect vehicle and tested it for DNA but, for three years, there were no arrests.

Then KPIX began investigating. We asked why there had been no arrests nor any apparent progress in the case.

Within 24 hours, OPD told us they had arrested a person of interest. He was later released for lack of evidence while DNA tests are pending.

We went to the home of the man who, Mykenna Kirkpatrick says, owns the BMW. He refused to answer questions.

Mykenna is frustrated and can’t understand why such a case was allowed to go cold when solid evidence was so quickly obtained.

“This is one of the easiest cases in Oakland right now,” she said. “You know who did it. You know where he stayed. We have evidence that his car touched my car.”

Mykenna says she hopes one day to buy advanced prosthetics that aren’t so painful that would allow her to keep up with her two young children. The prosthetics are expensive and, even with a donation from Safeway (where she used to work), she’s tens of thousands of dollars short of the $50,000 price tag.

Again, she’s left waiting.

“I would hope that the young man would turn himself in. Just make it right for her so she can move on,” Sophia said.