Person of interest named in hit-and-run that killed 14-year-old girl



DELAND, Fla. - It's been nearly six months since a driver hit two 14-year-old girls in DeLand and took off.

Rachael Russell survived, but Julianne Hobbs was killed.

On March 19, two days after the girls were hit, Florida Highway Patrol troopers found the car they believe was involved in the crash.

The victims' families want an arrest.

Hobbs' family said they will protest outside of the Volusia County Courthouse on Friday.

"I have to keep explaining to my son that she's in heaven, and he wants to talk to her, and he can't and I can't, and it's just a hard situation," said Courtney Hobbs, sister of Julianne.

Hobbs said she thinks of many special moments she'll no longer have with her younger sister. Her 15th birthday on Sunday is one of those moments, she said.

She said that the ongoing investigation into the hit-and-run death of her sister makes it even more painful.

"It's been six months. The paperwork isn't even completed, and the longer this takes, the longer she's going to be out here," said Hobbs.

The "she" Hobbs referred to is Danielle Halverson, 50, of DeLand. Investigators have named her as a person of interest in the hit-and-run.

Troopers confirmed it was Halverson's gold Toyota Corolla that hit and killed Julianne Hobbs.

Halverson called police to tell them that her car was involved, but she claimed she was not the one driving it.

Rachel Russell's mother and Courtney Hobbs both said they believe Halverson was behind the wheel of her Toyota when the girls were hit.

"She needs to turn herself in. She needs to pray for forgiveness. She needs to do her time," said Hobbs.

WFTV reporter Blaine Tolison went to the home of Halverson Thursday to hear her side of the story, but no one answered the door.