NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Just days before Thanksgiving Day 2020 on November 24, Metro police say four juveniles were traveling in a stolen pickup truck on I-24 eastbound near Shelby Avenue.
The driver, 12-year-old Abdiwahab Adan, and 14-year-old passenger, Donquez Abernathy, were shot and killed. In addition, a 14-year-old girl in the front passenger seat was wounded. In January, 16-year-old Tristan Williams was charged with two counts of criminal homicide and one count of attempted criminal homicide.
The pickup truck is not the only stolen vehicle linked to the incident. A Nashville father, Tim Ortner, says after returning from a long trip on November 22, his family parked their SUV in the driveway with the keys inside and went to sleep. When they woke up the next morning, their vehicle was gone.
Metro police confirmed with News 2 that an investigation showed that one of the juveniles killed on the interstate was linked to Ortner’s stolen vehicle.
The family received their car back weeks after the incident, but with smashed windows and without a sentimental item that was left inside: his 9-year-old daughter Violet’s bike. It’s not just any bike. To them, it’s irreplaceable.
“Her older brother sourced the bike for her and built it up for her,” Ortner said. “He’s a big biker and he wanted to bring her into the sport.”
With the pandemic changing her regular routine with school and activities, cycling kept her active.
“This really sort of filled the void for some of that,” Ortner said. “We’re going to keep trying to get it back so when the weather gets better, we are able to pick up where we left off.”
Detectives are on the lookout for the bike, but Ortner wanted to take matters into his own hands. He is hanging flyers around Edgehill and the 12 South neighborhood. He believes someone in the area knows something about the bike’s whereabouts.
He’s received several phone calls since putting them up, just not the one he is looking for. Local bike shops and people within the cycling community are on the lookout.
Ortner and his family know there is so much tragedy surrounding the situation that unfolded on the interstate, but he just wants his daughter’s special gift back in her arms.
“The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is walking in the door with that bike and seeing her smile, so I guess that is my driving force,” Ortner said. “Any dad out there with a 9 or 10-year-old daughter probably gets that anytime you can put a smile on your little girl’s face, it’s heaven on earth.”
The model is a Focus FSL. Ortner is offering a cash reward or will replace the bike with a new one, as long as he gets this special item back.
Anyone with information can contact Tim Ortner at (865) 414-6007 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.