Deadly hit and run: Aurora Police locate SUV and suspected driver after Medina Alert issued

Suspected driver released pending charges

Aurora, Colo. - Aurora police have located the SUV and the suspected driver wanted in connection with a deadly hit and run early Sunday morning.

The driver of the SUV turned herself in to police about three hours after a Medina Alert was issued.

The man was hit and killed on E. Colfax Ave., just east of Quentin St. at about 2:45 a.m. A witness told investigators the man was lying in the left lane when a white SUV ran over him. The SUV continued a short distance, made a U-turn, drove slowly back past the scene and then left the area, the witness told investigators. 

The Medina Alert was issued around 7:30 a.m.. The driver and her adult female passenger came in to the Aurora Police Station at 10 a.m. and both were interviewed by the detective handling the case. Investigators said they are certain the two women are the suspects they were searching for.

The Medina Alert

Denver and Aurora police departments started using the Medina Alert in the last two years. Denver adopted the alert in 2012, after Jose Medina was hit and killed on Jan. 22, 2011. A trained Taxis on Patrol driver followed the suspect car and wrote down the license plate number, which led to the arrest of the suspect. In November 2013, Aurora started to use the alert system as well.

The creator Larry Stevenson told 7NEWS the outcome to the hit and run in Aurora Sunday was "exactly how this is supposed to work."

"Hit and runs are the most unsolvable crime in law enforcement. Police can’t be everywhere," Stevenson said. "The quicker information goes out, the more people the information goes out to, the better your chances of solving this heinous crime."

In March, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Medina Alert bill (HB 14-1191). It will all law enforcement agencies in the state of Colorado to use the Medina Alert as a notification tool to the public regarding a serious bodily injury and/or fatal hit and run. Agencies will be able to use digital highway signs to communicate the alert.

"In Denver alone, there’s been over 12,000 hit and runs in the last two years, to be specific 12,648 hit and runs...Out of those, there’s been 563 serious bodily injury and or fatal hit and runs," Stevenson said.

To date, Aurora and Denver have issued 18 Medina Alerts total, 14 of those have been solved. Stevenson said they will only issue an alert if it meets specific 'solvability factors.' Police must have information about the car make or color, license plate, direction of travel and/or suspect before they issue an alert.

Police are not releasing the identity of the driver at this time as the investigation is ongoing. She has been released pending charges.

The name of the victim has not been released.

Anyone who has information or witnessed the crash, is asked to call Aurora Police Agent Chinn at 303-739-6342.

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