Woman tried to hide evidence in hit-and-run that killed young boy, police say

MILFORD, MA (WHDH) - Authorities say a woman charged in a hit-and-run that killed a young boy in Milford last month tried to conceal evidence in an effort to cover up the crime.

Police say 54-year-old Melissa Knight was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Traverse on Easter Sunday when she struck and killed 4-year-old Jonathan Loja. They say the Framingham boy was visiting relatives and playing outside when he was hit.

Police say Knight initially stopped, but then took off. In the days following the incident, she allegedly told police that a dent in her hood was caused by a falling tree limb over the winter.

“I don’t know who she thought she was going to fool, but she dealt with detectives that have a combined 30, 40, 50 years on the job. She had been a criminal for three days,” prosecutor Anthony Melia said Friday at Knight’s arraignment in Milford District Court.

Police say Knight tried to destroy evidence after the crash and that she took her SUV to be professionally washed on the morning after.

“First thing Monday morning, she’s the first car in line at a local car wash. She had the car washed. She had the undercarriage cleaned, but not clean enough,” Melia said.

Investigators found DNA matching that of Loja’s underneath Knight’s car and debris at the scene that matched as well, according to police. They also say Knight tampered with the hood and the front of her SUV in an obvious way.

Knight was arrested Thursday in Newton. A judge ordered her held on $20,000 bail.

The Loja family is asking for privacy at this time.

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