Sisters' homemade wanted posters land deadly hit-and-run driver back in jail

When the man who killed their mother in a hit-and-run crash failed to show up for sentencing in St. Paul earlier this year, a pair of sisters knew they had to take justice into their own hands.

That is exactly what they did, plastering wanted posters with the defendant’s face all over the metro, and all over social media.

Last weekend, their efforts paid off in a big way as the man was arrested and landed back behind bars in the Ramsey County jail.

Alison Annen’s daughters spend a lot of time at their mother’s grave site in Calvary Cemetery, sharing special moments here together, like Alison’s August birthday.

"We have had picnics here with her. It is our only way that we could be close to her again," said Alison’s daughter Jennifer. "It's been tough, very tough."

But one thing they say they have not been able to do is start fully healing from their loss nearly two years ago, while the man who killed Alison roamed free.

"It's the agony of having to wait for the closure for it to finally be over," explained Jennifer.

It was January 2021, when the 60-year-old mom and grandmother was killed in a violent crash. Her PT Cruiser was T-boned by an allegedly drunk driver behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle, who fled the scene. Annen and a second occupant were pinned in the wreckage.

Police eventually arrested Xia Her-Xiong. His record at the time included more than a dozen felony convictions with other charges pending.

In Annen’s death, Her-Xiong pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide and agreed to a term of 9.25 years in prison. But at his March sentencing earlier this year, while out on bail, he never showed up and disappeared.

Annen’s other daughter, Jessica, told FOX 9’s Paul Blume, "What a slap in the face, not just to me, to my mom, but to the system. Somebody needs to do something to make it right."

Jessica and Jennifer asked FOX 9 not to share their last names (they are different than their mother’s) for safety reasons. They said law enforcement informed them there would be no active search for the fugitive, Her-Xiong. Instead, authorities relied on what is known as a bench warrant that would flag Her-Xiong in the event he was involved in some future police encounter.

That is when the pair knew they needed to get justice for themselves. And they did, by plastering the internet, local social media groups, and everywhere Her-Xiong was known to frequent with wanted flyers that depicted half-a-dozen various images of him. The sisters were desperate for a tip that would land Her-Xiong back behind bars.

Jennifer reported posting the flyers, "all over garage sale websites, neighborhood groups, physically in person, in stores, on phone poles, on bus stops, anywhere that I went, I brought a poster and a piece of tape with me and put it up."

Last weekend, those posters as well as some of their own investigative sleuthing paid off all the way across the metro, in Brooklyn Center.

Someone, who had seen the flyer, spotted Her-Xiong in an apartment complex on the 7200-block of Camden Avenue North. They called 911, and alerted the sisters.

In fact, the two raced over, and were able to make it to the apartment in time to see Her-Xiong walked out in handcuffs. A search warrant indicates Her-Xiong was hiding in a folding couch to evade arrest in his girlfriend’s apartment. He had methamphetamine on him and investigators recovered a gun and ammunition from the unit.

The wanted posters have now been updated, with the word "captured" and the date of his arrest stamped across them.

"What we did for our mom, you know, it feels good. You know, we could have been silent. We could have kept, you know, just hoping that somebody would catch him and not do anything about it. And it just feels great," Jessica concluded.

After a few days in the Hennepin County jail, Her-Xiong was transferred to Ramsey County. He now has a full incarceration hold in addition to bail amounts topping $1 million. Jessica and Jennifer are now confident he is not going anywhere. 

Her-Xiong is currently scheduled to be sentenced for killing Alison Annen on November 4.

"I've not been able to heal and to mourn my loss because I have been so worked up into trying to hold get him held accountable, trying to find him. I just, it hasn't even sank in that my mom has really gone forever," Jennifer added.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, told FOX 9, "We are no longer bound by the plea agreement and our office will seek what we believe is reasonable in light of the defendant’s failure to appear."