Man raising money for billboard of girlfriend killed in south Fort Myers hit-and-run

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

We continue to report on the deadly hit-and-run that killed Kate Johnson of Fort Myers and her beloved dog, Diva, as the driver suspected of killing them and fleeing the scene remains on the run.

Johnson’s boyfriend, Phish Ross, wants to ensure people don’t forget the tragedy that took her life and the nature of how she and her pet died. That’s why Ross is raising money to put Kate’s face all over the area along with the image of the hit-and-run suspect accused of leaving her and Diva dead along McGregor Boulevard in south Fort Myers.

We spoke to Ross Friday about why he’s taking justice into his own hands amid the deaths of Johnson and Diva.

“They will catch you sooner or later,” Ross said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Ross is channeling his grief into action by helping state troopers with Florida Highway Patrol in their search for the killer.

“Justice for Katie” is Ross’ mission. He vows it will only end with an arrest and conviction of the hit-and-run driver who killed Johnson and Diva.

“It’s about Katie,” Ross said.

Ross is looking for support to put up billboards and create a reward in hopes someone knows where the suspected hit-and-run driver Rosalia Tejeda Diaz is.

“I think it’s urgent that we keep it fresh,” Ross said. “The fresher the better. This has only been a week and eight days since this transpired, so it’s still fresh in everybody’s minds. And that’s where I want to keep it.”

Ross created a Facebook group to keep everyone updated on the case.

Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers told us her organization will help with the reward and the social media push. And she’s all for a billboard.

“Somebody may have just been driving through the area and didn’t know that it happened,” Routte said. “Hopefully, a billboard would bring recognition to, ‘Hey, this happened. I was in the area around that time, what did I see?’”

Routte believes investigators will track down suspect Diaz and continue to work toward justice on behalf of Johnson and Diva.

“It might not be instantaneous for us as a family, but law enforcement will get you,” Ross said.

MORE: Celebration of life planned for Fort Myers woman and her dog killed in hit-and-run

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