MARIETTA, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A tough advocate for tough immigration laws in Georgia has passed away. Billy Inman died late last week at his home in Woodstock. His wife Kathy is recovering at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Marietta.
Billy Inman last spoke to FOX 5 News in April about his quest for justice in the hit-and-run death of his son, 16-year-old Dustin. It was at the home where he died late last week.
“He fell asleep and didn’t have any pain and he woke up in heaven with Dustin. This will be Dustin’s and Billy’s first Father’s Day together in 19 years,” said Leigh Kelley, Billy Inman’s Sister in Law.
Dustin was killed on Father’s Day weekend 2000 when the Inmans were driving through Ellijay and hit from behind. Kathy Inman suffered traumatic brain injuries. Billy, who was always at her side, suddenly died and she was left unattended in the home.
“She has seizures because of the brain injury and we think that’s what happened to her Thursday night, Friday morning,” said Kelley.
Many well-wishers have stopped by offering prayers for Kathy and condolences for Billy whose mission was cut short.
“He really wanted to bring this fugitive to justice,” said Patrick Stone - Cypher, Billy Inman’s Stepfather.
The fugitive is Gonzalo Harrell Gonzales, the suspected hit and run driver who killed Dustin and badly injured Kathy. He’s now on the top ten list of illegal immigrants wanted for various crimes. The case led to the formation of the Dustin Inman Society, which helped form some of Georgia’s immigration laws.
“He would talk to anybody and everybody, he was just always trying to make the laws better, trying to get the laws enforced,” said Kelley.
Both Billy and Kathy did not attend Dustin’s funeral so many years ago because of injuries. Family and friend told FOX 5 News Billy’s funeral may be a bit delayed as Kathy heals.
“We are going to make sure Kathy is there. We will not have it until she’s able to attend,” said Kelley.
She also said family and friends are searching for in-home care for Kathy, knowing no one can ever replace Billy.
“We’re going to try to see if she can get some rehabilitation so she can stay by herself some but she needs a caregiver, cause I’m trying to help her now but I’ll never be able to replace Billy,” said Kelley.
Kathy Inman who spoke to George Franco at her hospital bedside wanted the public to know she is healing and hopes to be out of the hospital soon to attend her husband’s funeral.
Billy Inman was 54 years old.
Anyone who would like to help, contact Leigh Kelley on Facebook.