More than 2 years after teen girl hit-and-killed in Buckeye, reward grows to over $10K

On May 22, 2020, a passerby discovered the body of 16-year-old Anaiah Walker after she was hit by a car and left to die.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 9:26 AM MST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 8:12 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A reward has increased for information leading to an arrest in the death of a teen girl hit by a car more than two years ago in Buckeye.

On May 22, 2020, a passerby discovered the body of 16-year-old Anaiah Walker on the I-10 median west of Watson Road. Detectives believe she was hit by a car, and the medical examiner ruled her cause of death to be “high-velocity impact.” Now the Buckeye Police Department and Silent Witness have boosted the reward for tips in the case from $10,000 to $12,000.

Walker’s father previously told Arizona’s Family that Anaiah had been the victim of sex trafficking in 2018 but escaped and entered a group home. In December 2019, she was reported missing in Mesa and listed as a runaway. At the time, her family said they believed her death was connected to human trafficking.

Anaiah was like every 16-year-old girl. “She was full of life and very energetic,” said Anaiah’s mother, Sherika Rhymes, during the conference. Anaiah had hopes and dreams, wanting to be a phlebotomist one day. Rhymes told Arizona’s Family when Anaiah was 13 years old, she was studying DNA mutations.

Her remains were discovered five months later, and investigators noted her body “was found with various stages of decomposition.” Because of that, Rhymes wasn’t able to review Anaiah’s body. “I buried a casket,” she said.

Her mother recalled the last conversation with Anaiah as being pleasant and planned to visit Anaiah as soon as she had visitation privileges. “She told me she loved me and I told her I loved her,” Rhymes said.

Over two years after Anaiah’s murder, Buckeye police have run out of leads and have raised the reward for any information to help bring closure to the family. “If you’re aware that you hit something or someone, you left as if my daughter was trash,” Rhymes said. “She was not trash. She belonged to me and I loved her very much, so come forward and be held accountable.”

Based on damaged car parts found at the scene, police believe a Honda Civic was involved as described below:

  • 2016 to 2018 Honda Civic LX
  • Factory color “Midnight Burgundy Pearl”
  • Damage to the driver’s side mirror, left front bumper, and left front fog light

Anyone with information leading to an arrest in connection with the death of Anaiah Walker could be eligible for a reward. Call 480-WITNESS (948-6377) to remain anonymous. You can also leave a tip at silentwitness.org.

Anaiah Walker, 16, was found dead along the I-10 median in Buckeye more than two years ago.
Anaiah Walker, 16, was found dead along the I-10 median in Buckeye more than two years ago.(Silent Witness)