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Family of Santa Maria woman killed in collision seek answers from police

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 22:33:19-04

A family in Santa Maria is coping with the loss of a loved one. Family members of Cassandra Odom, 37, say she was killed after being hit by a car this past Monday.

Her family says they weren't informed of Odom's death until two days after she was struck by a vehicle near Main Street and Hanson Way in Santa Maria. They say they hadn't heard back from her or known her whereabouts since Monday until they received the heartbreaking news from the Santa Barbara County Coroner.

"My sister was in town on Tuesday, and we went looking for her and couldn’t find her," said Odom's aunt, Alice Chapa. "She didn’t answer her phone. Little did we know she was sitting in a mortuary somewhere."

"They said she was on a bicycle on Hanson and Main Street, but they didn't have any other information," said Odom's mother, Dolores Marie Chapa.

Since hearing the news, Odom's family has been desperately trying to gather more details about what happened, reaching out to police on any leads possible regarding the driver.

They say to this point, local authorities have only provided them with mixed information.

"I hear that she passed away on Tuesday. Now the police are saying Monday. Somebody has to get their story right. We want justice. Whoever did this, own up to it," said Alice Chapa.

"We want answers," said Odom's cousin, Janielle Nunez while holding back tears. "And for the community, there is a lot of businesses in that area. Look at your cameras. Did you see anything? Did you hear anything? We need to know the time. How long was she sitting in the middle of the road before somebody actually decided to call somebody?"

Odom's family remembers her as a loving daughter, cousin, mother and grandmother.

"She housed me and my two grandkids at one point. She took me in. I just can't believe she is gone," Alice Chapa said.

"She is going to be truly missed. I feel like I owe it to her to find justice for her because this is not okay," added Nunez.

Odom's mother says she is too overwhelmed with disbelief to feel the pain.

"I don't know how to express myself. It really hasn't sunk in. But I know when it does sink in, it is going to hurt." said Dolores Marie Chapa.

On Thursday afternoon, the Santa Maria Police Department released some information on the incident, saying it happened just after 5 a.m. Monday and that they do not suspect drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

Odom's family has also started a GoFundMe in her name.