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Investigators continue search for driver that hit, killed 12-year-old Guilford County boy

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Investigators are still searching for the suspect in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 12-year-old in Guilford County in February.

A driver hit Dorien Pearsall on Ward Road while Dorien was walking home from a store just blocks from his home.

Four months later, his family and law enforcement haven't given up hope.

"I would like to see Dorien. I really would. I miss him. I do," said April McKenzie, Dorien's aunt.

When FOX8 talked to McKenzie four months ago, the pain of losing Dorien to a hit-and-run driver was fresh. It's still there now, so much so, it's too emotional for them to talk on camera.

The driver who hit and killed Dorien is still out there somewhere.

"You took that child's life," McKenzie said. "You took life clean out of that boy."

"I think everybody wants closure," Master Trooper Christopher Knox said. "It doesn't, obviously, bring back that 12-year-old, but it does kind of finalize some things for them, and I know that there's a sense of frustration with family, with community."

Troopers are looking for a navy blue BMW 7 Series with damaged to the right front bumper and a missing side mirror.

One that matches that description is currently sitting in a Highway Patrol garage.

"Basically, this exact same car," Knox said.

In fact, they thought it was the same car. A tip led troopers to pick it up and bring it in for testing.

"When we went out to look at the vehicle, the color matched," Knox said. "The type of vehicle matched. The damage that we were seeing looked like it could have been the vehicle involved."

But after weeks of interviews and forensic testing, it ended up just being a close match.

Knox says it's a huge let down when a lead doesn't pan out.

"When you hear that this is a 12-year-old that's walking down the road, really just doing nothing wrong, minding their own business, and somebody made a mistake," he said. "Somebody made a choice to leave that night. It does make it even more impactful on us personally to continue to put in that extra effort."

But he says it shows the importance of calling in tips, because anyone could make the call that solves the crime.

"Don't feel like it's insignificant. Don't feel like you're being a burden," Knox said. "We want you to call us. We want to go through the process of seeing if it's that car or that person."

The North Carolina Trooper's Association is also offering a $2,500 reward for tips that do lead to an arrest in this case.