HUGO, Okla. (KXII) - "Emanuel, when he walked into the room, he lit it up," said Emanuel Churchwell's family OJ and Tia.
The family said he had a big heart and was someone you could count on. But Churchwell won't see his five year-old son grow up after his life was cut short last July after leaving his friend's house, walking to his grandma's home.
"It was a lot of rain that night and she was telling him to stay where he's at and saying 'you're safe, you're safe,'" the family recalled from that night. "And he's saying 'no I'm going to come home and see you' and our grandmother and that's the last conversation they had."
Minutes after Churchwell left, Misty Acker drove up to that same friend's Home. Witnesses told investigators she seemed drunk and claim they heard her say she hit something with her car.
The family believes that 'something' Acker could've hit, was Churchwell. His body was found near the McAlester and H Street intersection the next day surrounded by broken pieces of plastic and a passenger side mirror.
"We can't get him back we get that but the question we always have now is what happened," the family asked. "What really happened? We still don't know, we need answers."
According to court documents, investigators said: "The side mirror housing bracket, taken from Suspect's (Acker) car, was compared to the piece of black plastic, found on the roadway near the body of the Decedent (Churchwell), and were found to be a 'physical match and conclusively established that the two pieces at one time formed a single item.'"
Acker pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of a fatality accident, sentenced to 30 days in jail with credit for time served and three years probation and court costs.
"He's no longer here and she's getting a slap on the wrist for it all," the family said. "30 days and probation, that's it."
Regardless of the outcome, the family said it will never bring back their beloved cousin.
"We love you and I will not rest until he gets justice," the family said.