MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — Haunted by the agony of the family of a 6-year-old Bay Area girl killed by a street racer in 2009, investigators continued to work on the case until the suspect was returned from Guatemala to face charges.
“We assure you (the Xavier family) that the men and women of the Menlo Park police have never forgotten your loss,” said Menlo Park Police Chief Dave Bertini. “We all know that justice delayed is justice denied…The officers worked tirelessly and tenaciously to bring this man to justice…This is not a cold case. It was not allowed to go cold. It’s been an active case since Non. 12, 2009.”
Shannon Steven Fox was in San Mateo County jail Wednesday on $500,000 bail, charged with three felony offenses in the tragic death of Lisa Xavier in a collision at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway.
San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said the grand jury charges Fox’s faces were gross vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene from a gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and illegal street racing that ended with death or injury to an individual. If convicted on all counts, Fox could face 12 years in state prison.
Shannon Steven Hodgson Fox, Menlo Park Police photos
A street race between two vehicles ended when one of them ran a red light and crashed into a car carrying Xavier and her mother. The young girl died the next day and her mother was seriously injured.
Surveillance footage showed the driver of the car that caused the crash then exited and got into the other car involved in the race and it sped away, police said.
The investigation revealed through physical evidence and witness statements that Fox was the driver of the Ford Mustang that crashed into the victim’s vehicle.
Attempts were made to locate Fox, who had an address in East Palo Alto at the time. Police later learned that he fled the region shortly after the crash, traveled to the U.S./Mexico border and crossed into Mexico and eventually into Central America. He had been a fugitive for nearly a decade.
The FBI tracked down Fox in Guatemala and arranged for his arrest in December 2016. Since that time, Fox had fought extradition but the courts in Guatemala ordered him to be returned to the United States in April to face charges.
Bertini said his investigators were discussing with Wagstaffe’s office the possibility of charges against others in the case.