The family of a woman who allegedly mowed down a salon owner in a hit-run after failing to pay for a US$35 (AUS$49) manicure has appeared on US national television begging her to surrender.
Harrowing footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Nhu “Annie” Ngoc Quynh Nguyen, 53, leaping in front of customer Krystal Whipple as she flees in a stolen rental car.
The tape, which has gone viral, appears to shows Whipple, 21, fail to stop as Ms Nguyen vanishes beneath the Camaro before being dragged up to 50m through the carpark in front of Crystal Nails & Spa in Las Vegas.
Whipple has been on the run ever since the December 29 incident and this morning — at the insistence of police — her mother and grandmother fronted a morning show to urge her to turn herself in.
“You can’t run baby, you cannot run,” Sharon Whipple said directly to the camera in an interview aired on Good Morning America.
“You have to come forward baby.”
Ms Whipple apologised for her daughter’s alleged actions and begged forgiveness from the victim’s family.
“I’m so sorry that you lost your mum, and I couldn’t imagine how you feel and I’m so sorry and I hope you find it in your heart to forgive my daughter and my family.”
Later in the interview she addressed her daughter directly again, saying:
“I don’t know the laws and I don’t care what it’ll take, we’ll get you a lawyer, we will fix this, just come home. Nobody’s mad, it’s gonna be okay.”
Las Vegas Police Lieutenant Ray Spencer urged the public to “have a good look at (Krystal Whipple’s) face” after releasing the footage and her mugshot from a prior arrest.
.@ABCNews EXCLUSIVE: The mother and grandmother of the suspect who ran over and killed a manicurist plead for her to turn herself in. @TVMarci has it all. https://t.co/WDWWNgRuos pic.twitter.com/lBWNxMTV7G
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 6, 2019
Investigators had worked around the clock with no time off because they were determined to make Whipple “answer for this horrible crime”, he said in video appeal.
Lt Spencer said Whipple initially tried to pay for the manicure with a “fraudulent” credit card. When that failed she told Ms Nguyen she was going to pop out and grab some cash from her car.
But the salon owner noticed her pulling out of the carpark instead of returning with the case and rushed outside with husband Sonny Chung to try and stop her.
“The female in front of the car was thrown under the vehicle and later died,” Lt Spencer said in a video.
“Myself, along with the investigative squad that is assigned the case, has worked every day since the homicide occurred trying to capture her.”
Mr Chung, who witnessed his wife’s horrific death, said he tried his best to stop Whipple from getting away.
“(Whipple) kept pushing the gas, and my wife fell off, and she kept pushing more, and she dragged her from here to over there, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“I tried to hold the car back, but I’m not Superman. She ran off for $35 and killed my wife — $35 to run my wife over.”
Ms Nguyen died of multiple blunt force injuries. Her death has been ruled homicide by the Clark County coroner’s office. She left behind three daughters aged 20, 25 and 28 and two grandchildren aged four and six.
A memorial fund set up by Ms Nguyen’s family had raised more than triple the target at time of writing.
Daughter Christy Le called Nguyen a “dutiful mother who always put her children first before herself” in a moving tribute on her gofundme page.
Ms Le said her mother worked to fund not only her college education but support her own mother, siblings and grandchildren “allowing them to have a greater opportunity in life”.
She said her mother seven days a week, often skipping meals to ensure her children “would not have to work as hard as she did”.
Court records show Whipple is wanted on felony charges of murder, robbery and burglary.
Police said the Camaro was a rental that had been stolen last month and was later found abandoned at a nearby apartment complex.
Whipple was convicted in 2017 in Las Vegas of attempted possession of a stolen vehicle, according to Clark County District Court records.
She was sentenced to four months in jail last year for violating probation in that case.
Lt Spencer warned the public not to attempt to apprehend Whipple if they spotted her but to call police instead.