Suspect in Vegas crash said she was stressed living in car

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Suspect in Las Vegas Crash Expected to Be Charged With Murder

LAS VEGAS (AP) — It wasn't long ago that the woman arrested in the deadly Las Vegas Strip sidewalk crash seemed to be doing well for herself.

After a rough childhood that included a period of homelessness in high school, Lakeisha Holloway had become an award-winning high school graduate and caring mother.

That recent picture of success deepens the mystery of how the former Oregon woman wound up in a Las Vegas jail and on suicide watch. The 24-year-old Holloway faces murder charges after authorities said she plowed her Oldsmobile into a sidewalk of tourists Sunday night, killing one person and injuring three dozen others while her 3-year-old daughter sat in the back seat.

After reviewing video surveillance footage, police said they believe Holloway drove up on the sidewalk deliberately.

SEE MORE: Driver deliberately plows into people on Vegas strip

They say she was homeless, and out of money, sleeping in her car in parking garages. She might have been on her way to Texas to meet with the father of her daughter; the pair had split up some time ago.

After her arrest, Holloway "described a stressful period today where she was trying to rest/sleep inside her vehicle with her daughter but kept getting run off by security of the properties she stopped at," a police report states.

"She ended up on the Strip, 'a place she did not want to be,'" the report quoted her as saying. "She would not explain why she drove onto the sidewalk but remembered a body bouncing off her windshield, breaking it."

She parked at a casino a few blocks from the crash site, told a parking attendant that she had run down people and asked the valet to call 911, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. Her daughter wasn't hurt.

For more on this story, scroll through the gallery below:
22 PHOTOS
Woman drives into crowd of pedestrians in Las Vegas, car crash, Lakeisha Holloway
See Gallery
Suspect in Vegas crash said she was stressed living in car
Lakeisha Nicole Holloway enters district court with one of her public defenders, Scott Coffee, for her arraignment Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. Holloway, who crashed her car into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Dec. 20, has been charged with murder, child abuse and hit-and-run. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
Lakeisha Nicole Holloway enters district court for her arraignment Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. Holloway, who crashed her car into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Dec. 20, has been charged with murder, child abuse and hit-and-run. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
Lakeisha Nicole Holloway, center, appears with her public defenders Joseph Abood, left, and Scott Coffee in district court for her arraignment Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. Holloway, who crashed her car into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Dec. 20, has been charged with murder, child abuse and hit-and-run. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
Lakeisha N. Holloway, third from left, leaves the courtroom as one of her public defenders, Scott Coffee, left, looks on following her arraignment in district court Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. Holloway, who crashed her car into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, has been charged with murder, child abuse and hit-and-run. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
This photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Lakeisha N. Holloway, who police said smashed into crowds of pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, killing one person and injuring dozens. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)
Booking photo of suspect Lakeisha Holloway, arrested in last night's deadly crash on the strip. #LVMPDnews https://t.co/Gsp3NND9Ar
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, left, and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson speak at a news conference, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Las Vegas. The two officials spoke about the car driven by suspect Lakeisha N. Holloway, pictured on monitor, of Oregon, who police said smashed into crowds of pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night, killing one person and injuring dozens. (AP Photo/David Becker)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Police officers stand on the Las Vegas Strip which was closed to all vehicle traffic after a car crashed into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk in front of the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino reportedly injuring at least 35 people and killing one on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Police and local officials investigate a part of the Las Vegas Strip after a car ran into a group of pedestrians between Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe pageant took place, and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 20, 2015. At least one person has died and more than 37 have been hurt after a car ran into a group of pedestrians on the bustling Las Vegas Strip on December 20, police said, adding the driver was in custody. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Police officers investigate the scene on the Las Vegas Strip in front of the Paris Las Vegas where a car crashed into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk reportedly injuring at least 35 people and killing one on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A police line blocks off part of the Las Vegas Strip after a car ran into a group of pedestrians between Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe pageant took place, and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 20, 2015. At least one person has died and more than 37 have been hurt after a car ran into a group of pedestrians on the bustling Las Vegas Strip on December 20, police said, adding the driver was in custody. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Vehicle traffic on the Las Vegas Strip is closed as police investigate the area after a car crashed into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk in front of the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino reportedly injuring at least 35 people and killing one on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Police and local officials investigate a part of the Las Vegas Strip after a car ran into a group of pedestrians between Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe pageant took place, and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 20, 2015. At least one person has died and more than 37 have been hurt after a car ran into a group of pedestrians on the bustling Las Vegas Strip on December 20, police said, adding the driver was in custody. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Police and local officials investigate a part of the Las Vegas Strip after a car ran into a group of pedestrians between Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe pageant took place, and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 20, 2015. At least one person has died and more than 37 have been hurt after a car ran into a group of pedestrians on the bustling Las Vegas Strip on December 20, police said, adding the driver was in custody. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Police (bottom) block off part of the road as they and local officials investigate a part of the Las Vegas Strip after a car ran into a group of pedestrians between Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe pageant took place, and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 20, 2015. At least one person has died and more than 37 have been hurt after a car ran into a group of pedestrians on the bustling Las Vegas Strip on December 20, police said, adding the driver was in custody. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Police and members of the media are pictured along part of the Las Vegas Strip after a car ran into a group of pedestrians between Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe pageant took place, and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 20, 2015. At least one person has died and more than 37 have been hurt after a car ran into a group of pedestrians on the bustling Las Vegas Strip on December 20, police said, adding the driver was in custody. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Police and emergency crews respond to the scene of a car accident along Las Vegas Boulevard, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Police and emergency crews respond to the scene after a car drove up onto a sidewalk along Las Vegas Boulevard, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. A woman intentionally swerved her car onto the busy sidewalk two or three times Sunday and mowed down people outside a Las Vegas casino. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Police and emergency crews respond to the scene of a car accident along Las Vegas Boulevard, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Police officers stand on the Las Vegas Strip which was closed to all vehicle traffic after a car crashed into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk in front of the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino reportedly injuring at least 35 people and killing one on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: A police officer takes photos as he investigates the scene on the Las Vegas Strip in front of the Paris Las Vegas where a car crashed into a group of pedestrians on the sidewalk reportedly injuring at least 35 people and killing one on December 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The sheriff said Holloway was stoic when police arrived, showed no resistance and spoke coherently about what happened.

Authorities declined to comment on a potential motive and said they were struggling to piece together Holloway's background.

She had changed her name to Paris Paradise Morton in October, according to Oregon court records.

Several years ago, Holloway, a graduate of an alternative high school, received an award for overcoming adversity from the nonprofit Portland Opportunities Industrial Center.

In 2012, she told The Skanner, a newspaper that covers Portland's African-American community, that she was homeless during her freshman year in high school.

Court records show she was charged in Oregon in 2011 with operating a vehicle without driving privileges and driving uninsured. She was convicted in March 2012.

Holloway's cousin, Lashay Hardaway, told The Oregonian that Holloway worked hard to provide for her daughter.

"She's just always thinking about her daughter or the next thing she needs to take care of," Hardaway said, adding that her cousin was a working mother who "makes good money."

SEE MORE: Oregon woman held in Las Vegas Strip sidewalk rampage drove with license suspended

The crash happened in front of the Paris and Planet Hollywood casino-hotels and across from dancing water fountains of the Bellagio hotel-casino. The Miss Universe pageant was being held at Planet Hollywood at the time of the crash.

People jumped on the car and banged on its windows, but Holloway didn't stop driving on the sidewalk, Lombardo said. The car was fully on the sidewalk twice, including once when it traveled 200 feet, police said.

There was no evidence that Holloway had consumed alcohol, but a drug recognition expert at the scene determined that she was under the influence of some sort of stimulant, Lombardo said.

Holloway, who was being held without bail, will be charged with murder with a deadly weapon, said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, who anticipated "a great number" of additional charges.

Holloway was under suicide watch at jail, said Deputy Clark County Public Defender Scott Coffee said. A Clark County spokesman said the woman's daughter was being cared for by child protective services.

At least 35 people injured in the crash were taken to hospitals, including three people still in critical condition with head injuries, officials said.

The crash killed Jessica Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Arizona, who was visiting Las Vegas with her husband, according to the Clark County coroner.

Other victims were from Oregon, Florida, Colorado, California, Washington, Mexico and Quebec. Five were Canadian citizens, and four were Oregon college students in town to compete in a wrestling tournament.

Justin Cochrane of Santa Barbara, California, said the car appeared to be going 30 to 40 mph when it struck the pedestrians.

"It was just massacring people," said Cochrane, who was having dinner at a sidewalk restaurant outside the Paris hotel.

More from AOL.com:
Support for legal abortion at highest level in 2 years
SpaceX Falcon rocket nails safe landing in pivotal space feat
Saudi women vote in historic elections; Now they want more rights
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners