I-TEAM: Family one step closer to justice after daughter nearly killed in hit-and-run

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 / 06:35 PM EDT Updated: Jul 31, 2020 / 06:35 PM EDT

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has uncovered a break in an unsolved mystery surrounding a hit- and-run in Cleveland that left a young mother with permanent injuries and her family fighting for justice.

We’ve uncovered court records outlining suspects and a cover-up.

Getting justice for ‘Ya-Ya’, Ayana Barkley.

Nearly a year ago on Cleveland’s southeast side, a driver plowed into the young woman and took off. The crash left her with permanent injuries.

Not long after that incident, police found the suspect’s SUV, but the case didn’t develop until now.

According to court papers, police discovered a report the SUV involved had been stolen, but that report turned out to be false. A man, woman, and one suspect’s mother are now under investigation.

Cell phone records put the man and woman around the scene of the accident at the time it happened. And, any day now, a grand jury is expected to sort through this and recommend charges.

Ayana’s father, Michael Barkley, reacted to the news.

“I don’t think they want to know how I really feel on the inside,” he said.

Barkley has led a fight to find answers, even working to find clues on social media.

He said his daughter spent weeks in a coma and is still going through surgeries.

“My family, we want the max. We want the harshest penalty that you could possibly give someone,” he said.

We went to the address on court records for one suspect. A relative there said that person hadn’t been around.

The person we met there said she hadn’t heard anything about the hit-and-run. And, she spoke about the suspect using that address, saying “I don’t see her that much.”

So many people have been praying for Ayana, the mother of a child in elementary school. Now, a break in the case. A mystery unravelling, at least, with a chance to see justice.

“These people just have no heart, and that’s what bothers me the most,” said Barkley.

We’ve learned one suspect is already locked up on unrelated charges.

The grand jury is expected to consider felony charges against three people.

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