MARTINEZ, Calif. - The Contra Costa County District Attorney on Monday is now charging the 23-year-old man they say drove a stolen truck into two sisters, both of whom have now died, with two counts of murder.
In a surprise twist, making these events even more tragic, KTVU has learned there the suspect is a distant relative of the little girls, ages 4 and 2.
Noe Saucedo of Pittsburg did not enter a plea on Monday. His arraignment was continued until next week on those charges, including counts of felony evading, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of heroin.
Saucedo remains in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility. He is on $2.1 million bail -- $1 million more than when he was first arrested. Efforts to reach him or his attorney were not immediately successful before his arraignment.
Outside the court, Saucedo's mother, Martina Longoria, said she too is heartbroken over what happened. Speaking in Spanish, she added that her son is actually a distant relative of the two little girls he's accused of killing.
"We are family," said Longoria. We've always known each other. I am asking forgiveness from the family. From my heart I'm asking for forgiveness. May God bless them."
Saucedo's Ford F-250 ran a red light and crashed into a a family vehicle on Somersville Road in Antioch on Jan. 17, which resulted in the immediate death of 4-year-old Lenexy Cardoza of Pittsburg. Her 2-year-old sister Camila Cardoza was officially pronounced deceased at the hospital this weekend.
Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies say he was trying to evade them just before the crash.
Relatives of the little girls left court without commenting. A younger sister of the defendant, who did not want her face shown, said the fact that the girls are related to her brother makes this situation even more tragic.
"And it hurts even if it wasn't family, it hurts. They're little girls you now it's a family that's been struck by a tragedy and nothing or anything we can say or do can bring that back," the defendant's sister said in interview, but did not want her face shown.
She said her brother has abused drugs and hung out with the wrong crowd.
"We knew that he was troubled and unfortunately these are the consequences of his actions," she added.
Family and friends held a tearful memorial for them Sunday night. Their mother, Edith Ramirez, was injured but survived the crash that has devastated the family.
"This been a nightmare that is unbelievable," relative Juan Ramirez said. "This has changed our whole lives."
Anyone with any information or who may have witnessed it is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff at (925) 646-2441. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.