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Arrest made in 2012 cold-case hit-and-run death of Kimberly Encinia

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Posted at 11:43 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 23:31:38-04

Corpus Christi Police Department officers have made an arrest in the hit-and-run cold-case death of 24-year-old Kimberly Encinia in 2012.

Michael Atkinson was charged Friday with accident involving severe bodily injury/death, and is being held at the Nueces County Jail.

He is accused of hitting Encinia and leaving her in the 7500 block of McArdle Road with severe injuries. She later died at the hospital of those injuries.

After 10 years, CCPD received information pointing them to Atkinson earlier this month. Cpt. Timothy Frazier with CCPD said it was atip from the community that pointed them in the right direction.

"Officer (Mark) Garland along with Detective Chris Rodriguez did a lot of leg work and put a bunch of pieces together, basically," said Frazier. "And were able to figure out that Michael Atkinson was our suspect.”

Atkinson was already in the Nueces County Jail for indecent exposure and driving while intoxicated.

Reports show he has been arrested for driving while intoxicated several times.

Frazier said there were no concrete suspects up until a few weeks ago.

Encinia's mother, Mary Encinia, told KRIS 6 News she was notified Thursday night that police had a suspect.

Mary said she's still trying to process the news, but began to recount the night her daughter died. Kimberly had just left her mother's apartment at the Oso Bay Apartments. She was walking to the Nest Church.

Mary said she's never one to be curious about flashing lights, but said something called out to her to go see what was going on. Mary saw her daughter in a ditch, just as police began processing the crime scene.

Atkinson's case will be heard by a grand jury to see if an indictment is returned.

This is a developing story. Check back with for more information.