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Frustrated by police, California woman launches investigation into brother's death

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Barbara Yarborough wouldn't stop until she found the person who ran over and killed her 41-year-old brother.

When the case reached a dead end, the California woman took over and hired her own investigators to give her family closure.

Every day Yarborough goes into her garage, she sees a grim reminder of the worst moment in her life. It’s the broken and banged up motorcycle that her older brother Frank Yarborough was riding when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

“This was the last thing my brother touched before his life was taken from him,” Yarborough told NBC San Diego in an exclusive interview.

The motorcycle has been a symbol of her heart and determination to find the man who killed Frank.

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The Riverside County man was a father of two boys when he died on Jan. 7, 2011. He was driving home when a tractor trailer hung a U-turn and ran him over.

“I still mourn every day,” Yarborough said.

“I cry going to sleep, I cry waking up," she said. "It’s hard to heal when the wounds stay fresh.”

Yarborough says two witnesses pointed out two different tractor trailers as possible suspect vehicles. But she says investigators focused their attention only on one because that witness seemed more credible.

Months went by and the investigation stalled. Yarborough decided to conduct her own investigation.

“I just knew I had to get the motorcycle,” she said.

Yarborough bought her brother’s motorcycle from a salvage yard and hired two former San Diego Police officers to investigate Frank’s hit and run.

Larry Ingraham and Donovan Jacobs interviewed the other witness who claimed to have seen a different tractor-trailer hit Frank.

“Our effort in the case was to refocus on what that one witness was saying who identified the driver of a Ralph's truck for being responsible for the accident,” Jacobs said.

On the night of the crash, California Highway Patrol investigators interviewed 39-year-old Dixon Russell Dixon.

He was Ralph's Auto & Truck Service driver who was eating inside his tractor trailer near the crime scene.

“Police questioned him, to see if he knew anything he said, 'No, I was in Del Taco getting lunch,' so they let him go,” Barbara said.

But Yarborough says her private investigators found compelling evidence implicating Dixon.

They can't reveal that evidence because it's now part of the criminal case.

On Jan. 9, two years and two days after her brother's death, investigators arrested Dixon for felony hit and run at his San Bernardino County home.

“How could he run over my brother and see his dead body on the road and not take responsibility for what he’s done,” Yarborough said.

Yarborough's private investigator Donovan Jacobs is also representing family members in a civil lawsuit against Ralph’s.

NBC San Diego called the company's public relations representative for comment, but the call has not been returned.

Dixon posted a $50,000 bond. His next court appearance has been set for March.