PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rene Griffin remembers the day she lost her younger sister like it was yesterday.

“I was in California,” Griffin recalled. “My phone rang at 2:30 in the morning.”

Griffin’s twin sister was on the other line. She told Griffin that their sister, 41-year-old Gina Isom, was dead.

“I still can’t believe it,” Griffin said. “I still have nightmares about it.”

It was Dec. 9, 2008. Detectives determined Isom died almost instantly when she was hit by a car at the corner of Atwells Avenue and Cutler Street in Providence.

A police report obtained by 12 News revealed investigators spoke to a number of witnesses, but the car involved was only described as a small, dark sedan. The person who was behind the wheel hasn’t been caught or come forward.

Isom left behind a huge family, including 17 siblings. Even though it’s been 13 years since Isom was killed, Griffin said they’re still heartbroken and longing for closure.

“She didn’t have to go out like that,” Griffin added. “It just hurts.”

Police told 12 News the investigation into Isom’s death was closed in 2009, and unless someone comes forward with new evidence or information, it will stay that way.

But Isom’s family has ensured that her story is told every December, with every passing holiday season serving as a painful reminder of their loss.

“She had called me after Thanksgiving and she was like, ‘I need you. I can’t do this without you,'” Griffin recalled. “I told her, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas,’ and that she could come back [to California] and stay with me, she and her son … I just felt like I could have done something, I should have come [sooner].”

“People say, ‘Rene, it’s not your fault,’ but it’s a process to go through,” she continued. “I’m still grieving because we don’t know who did it, and I’m just going to keep fighting. I’m going to keep fighting for her.”

Griffin’s fight isn’t just for her sister, but also for the son Isom left behind and the grandchildren she never got to meet.

While she forgives the person responsible, Griffin said she wants them to unburden themselves.

“Unfortunately, it’s been 13 years and they still haven’t come forward,” she said. “But that’s OK, because I’m not going to stop fighting for my sister until she has justice, and I know that’s what she would have wanted … to find out who did this to her.”

Griffin said there is currently a $10,000 reward for information regarding her sister’s death, and she’s working to secure a billboard to keep her sister’s story in the spotlight.

Anyone who believes they may know who hit and killed Isom that December night is urged to contact the Providence Police Department at (401) 272-3121.

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