Blue Island hit-and-run that killed Robby Silva, 11, in 2005 remains unsolved

BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (WLS) -- Robby Silva would be 24 years old today. Instead, a roadside cross marks the spot where the 11-year-old boy lost his life on December 1, 2005.

Silva was sledding with friends near Western Avenue and the Calumet River in south suburban Blue Island, when his sled skidded onto the road just as a vehicle was coming through. The vehicle did not stop.

To this day, the driver that hit him remains unknown. The Blue Island Police Department remains under a cloud of suspicion for allegedly covering up the investigation. A civil lawsuit filed against the city by Silva's mother, BethAnne Thomas, four years ago, was settled earlier this month, with no guilt admitted by the defendants.

"Nothing will bring him back. But at least some of the truth was brought to light," said BethAnne Thomas in an interview Tuesday.

That truth, according to Thomas and her attorney Martin Dolan, is that there was a deliberate effort by some people within the Blue Island Police Department at the time, to hide the hit and run driver's identity. That opinion was backed up by a U.S district court judge hearing the case. Evidence of a cover up disclosed in public documents only after a separate whistle blower lawsuit was filed by a Blue Island detective who tried to follow up on the investigation years later. That lawsuit is still pending.

"All we know is there was evidence that a police report and polygraph was falsified. It was changed," says Dolan. "Robby Silva's investigation file wound up in the desk drawer of the person who was investigating the case."

That criminal case remains open. If the driver is ever identified he may still be charged and prosecuted. "It's got to be hard living with themselves with what they did. It's been 13 years," says Thomas. "I hope and pray that whoever did this will get it off their conscience and will just come forward with what they did."

ABC7 reached out to attorneys for the City of Blue Island for comment. As of now we have not received a response.
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