Grandmother charged in toddler’s hit-and-run death on ICE hold

Grandmother charged in toddler’s hit-and-run death on ICE hold

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Gilma J. Ordonez-Guevara (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)
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  • Gilma J. Ordonez-Guevara allegedly hit her 23-month-old granddaughter and left the scene.
  • She initially denied being involved, police said.

The grandmother of a Gwinnett County toddler who died after being hit by a car in front of her house was arrested in connection with the incident, police said Wednesday.

Gilma J. Ordonez-Guevara, 44, of Lawrenceville, is charged with vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and not having a license, Cpl. Michele Pihera said.

Ordonez-Guevara was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on Tuesday, Pihera said. She also is on an immigration hold by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to jail records.

Valeria Leiba was 23 months old. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Ordonez-Guevara, who lives in the same Lawrenceville neighborhood as the toddler, initially denied being involved, police said. However, after investigators searched her SUV, evidence conflicted with her previous statements.

Based on the second interview, police learned she hit the toddler, 23-month-old Valeria Leiba, as she was backing out of the driveway in the 1000 block of Memory Lane.

Ordonez-Guevara did not know the child was behind her SUV, according to police. After the incident, Ordonez-Guevara carried her granddaughter inside the child’s home, got back in her SUV and drove to her own house. She left her SUV in the driveway and walked back to her granddaughter’s home.

“There are not enough words to help bring solace to the victim’s family during such a tragic loss,” Pihera said. “We want the family to know that many people in Gwinnett and the surrounding communities are thinking of them during this difficult time.”

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Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach reports.

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