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Parents urge answers in death initially thought to be suicide

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The death of an 18-year-old boy, initially thought to be a suicide, is now believed to be the result of an accident, court documents show, and one man is being charged.

Herminio Orozco, 21, is charged with failing to stop and provide assistance in an accident that killed Jesslyn Zuniga.

The video shown above is from a previous report.

On February 6, Houston police were called to the East Freeway slip road and Gregg Street, where Zuniga was found dead by the side of the road. At first, investigators thought she jumped to her death from the overpass where a truck had been abandoned. Her parents never believed that.

“Yes. From the beginning. We know our daughter,” father Jose Zuniga told ABC13 on Friday night at the spot where their daughter died.

“It’s just the most terrifying feeling in the world,” added her mother, Sandy Garza.

RELATED: Family seek answers after 18-year-old found dead under I-10 overpass after first date

According to court documents, 14 hours after Zuniga was found, Orozco, her boyfriend, went to the police with his father and told them that Zuniga had been thrown out of his truck as a result of a collision with a van and that he was just too scared to go on with the scene. He was the driver, records say. Zuniga was in the passenger seat. “Further investigation” by the police led to the charges against Orozco.

“Come on. Leave someone on the side of the road like that and run away? That’s cold. That’s a cold-blooded person,” said Jose Zuniga. “If it’s an accident, you call for help.”

But Zuniga’s parents even doubt that she was ejected and that the injuries she sustained were from a fall. Preliminary autopsy results only indicate the type of death as an accident. Her parents say her initial suicidal beliefs didn’t help her. They plan to keep asking questions.

“They said she committed suicide, and now she hasn’t committed suicide. You would want answers. That’s what we want. Answers.”

Orozco has been released from prison on $75,000 bail. Court records show he has a bondage injury from failing to report to investigative authorities and not getting an ankle monitor. His attorney declined to respond to ABC13’s request for comment.

To learn more about this story, follow Jessica Willey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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https://abc13.com/woman-killed-died-during-date-jesslyn-zuniga-herminio-orozco/11728206/ Parents urge answers in death initially thought to be suicide

Dais Johnston

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