North Bay Village

Neighbors ID Victims of Fiery North Bay Village Hit-and-Run as Mother and Daughters

Police still searching for suspect in connection with crash that killed 3

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Police are still searching for a driver who fled the scene of a fiery hit-and-run crash in North Bay Village that left three dead as neighbors identified the victims as a mother and her two daughters.

Multiple people who live in the building with the victims have identified them as Cynthia Orsatelliz and her daughters, Sofia and Maria.

Their building manager, Eddie Lim, said the family had moved from Dubai to North Bay Village just over a year ago.

"We all feel horrible because she comes down to the waterfront, talks to us and just to see three lives wasted because of one person and he’s still at large I believe," Lim said.

The crash happened around 9:30 p.m. Monday on the 79th Street Causeway at the entrance to Harbor Island.

A driver's dash camera captured the crash and showed the victims' car apparently trying to make a turn when another vehicle slammed into them, causing a massive fireball.

Residents gathered to remember the victims who were killed in a fiery hit-and-run crash as police search for the suspect. NBC 6's Ryan Nelson reports

Other witness video showed firefighters trying to put out the flames from the severely damaged car.

Two of the victims were killed at the scene, and the third died at a local hospital.

Miami-Dade Police Homicide units are investigating and said Tuesday that they're looking for 24-year-old Julius Bernstein in connection with the crash.

New surveillance footage showed a man, believed to be Bernstein, jumping a fence and running toward apartments after the crash.

Neighbor Brandon Menard said Bernstein showed up at his back door asking for help shortly after the crash.

“When I asked who it was, who is it, the person responded, 'it’s Julius,'" Menard said. "He’s like, 'it’s Julius, help me out, help me out, I can get you what you need, I got money, I got a nine-inch chain, $1,000, whatever you need, just help me out,' and at that moment I thought we were about to get robbed or something or that he was trying to bust in the house, so I grabbed a pistol that I use for protection obviously."

Miami-Dade Police
Miami-Dade Police flyer on Julius Bernstein

Menard also said the victims were his neighbors and he had heard from them hours before the crash.

“They did live in the unit across from us. We used to see them do groceries, bring their groceries, my girlfriend used to see them downstairs, say 'hi' to the wife and two daughters," he said.

Bernstein has a lengthy criminal record that includes charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer and reckless driving, records showed.

Police are asking anyone who sees him to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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