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Arrest made in Kaiden Estling fatal hit-and-run

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2020 at 6:24 PM CDT
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FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - After a nearly two-year investigation, police have made an arrest in the death of 14-year-old Kaiden Estling, that occurred in 2018.

On Friday, investigators announced that Kelli Jo Michael, 26, of Des Moines, had been arrested in the case. Michael has been charged with Homicide by Vehicle-Reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

On June 28, 2018, Kaiden Estling, of Maynard, was driving a moped along Highway 150 southbound when he was struck by a vehicle about two-and-a-half miles south of Fayette. Estling was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver fled the scene.

Kelly Jo Michael
Kelly Jo Michael(KCRG)

Kelli Jo Michael is being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $50,000.00 cash-only bond.

Following the news of the arrest in the case, Kaiden’s mother, April, shared a statement on the arrest.

April Estling has spoken to KCRG-TV9 several times in the two years since Kaiden’s death.

“He was a people person,” April Estling said when describing her son in 2019 to mark the one-year anniversary of his death. “He was the kind of kid that if a child didn’t have a friend at school he would be that person.”

April had built a memorial - with a cross and several of his favorite things - at the scene of his death and said she visited it often. “Every time I’m out here, a sheriff will stop and talk to me for a minute, and he said I assure you we’re working this case hard,” she said in a 2018 interview, two months after her son’s death.

A memorial ride and cruise is scheduled to take place Saturday morning at 11 a.m. starting at West Central High School in Maynard.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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