WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The lives of a family changed in an instant.
West Palm Beach police traffic homicide investigator Daniel Dillard said September's fatal hit-and-run impacted the team investigating the crime.
Police said Catarina Reymundo Marcos and her toddler were run over in their driveway, leading to an arrest.
"When we handle these calls involving children and tragedy, it definitely takes a toll," Dillard said.
Marcos, who was pregnant, died. Doctors were able to save her baby and her toddler is recovering.
Dillard said the tragedy reminds him of the precious moments he has with his own child.
"That night I went home and I sat in the bed with my daughter, even though she was sleeping, I sat with her and I didn't want to leave her side, because, you know, you never know when that time is going to come," he said.
Officers formed a bond with the kids and helped the family with immediate needs. Now the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department is also helping.
Kimberly Garcia is a 911 dispatcher.
"I figured a family definitely needed to be sponsored for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and going forward in life because there are four children involved," Garcia said.
Garcia said several organizations such as Little Smiles, Sweet Dream Makers, The Legacy Closet and BrandsMart are helping.
People in the community, including social media mothers groups, are also donating items for the kids at the two police departments.
"Enfamil, who has chosen to go sponsor this baby boy with formula until they're told otherwise," Garcia said.
Garcia said the kids are now being cared for by the family's pastor and his wife.
"I'm hoping to continue the outpour of donations, whether they're items for the newborn baby boy, the girls," she said.