$20,000 reward offered in hit-and-run that killed girl, 15, in Canyon Country

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities on Monday announced a $20,000 reward in the case of a 17-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Canyon Country in December.

Fifteen-year-old Desiree Lawson died in the incident, which was reported at 8:30 p.m. on the day after Christmas in the 27500 block of Sierra Highway.

Elected officials and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators discussed the reward and released a photo of the victim in hopes of identifying the driver who sped away from the scene.

"This loss has shaken the community, and Supervisor (Kathryn) Barger is committed to bringing those responsible to justice," said spokeswoman Rosalind Wayman.

Sheriff's Capt. Roosevelt Johnson said Desiree's parents did not attend the press conference because they remained "extremely distraught and did not necessarily want to be a part of today, couldn't bring themselves to be here."

Cameron Smith, mayor of Santa Clarita, described a hit-and-run crash as "one of the most cowardly acts that someone can perpetrate - particularly when you leave a young teenager lying on the street on Sierra Highway."

Two witnesses described the suspect's vehicle as a gold, tan or dark-colored four-door sedan with a lowered front end. The hood or front end of the car may be damaged, detectives said.

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call sheriff's Detective Mark Cramer at (661) 255-1121.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Desiree's family pay for her funeral.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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