Suspect located in San Tan Valley hit-and-run, arrest imminent

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A skateboarder was hit by a vehicle near Gantzel and Chandler Heights roads in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas A skateboarder was hit by a vehicle near Gantzel and Chandler Heights roads in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas
Giovanni Saucedo By Jennifer Thomas Giovanni Saucedo By Jennifer Thomas
A skateboarder was hit by a vehicle near Gantzel and Chandler Heights roads in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas A skateboarder was hit by a vehicle near Gantzel and Chandler Heights roads in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Giovanni Saucedo By Jennifer Thomas Giovanni Saucedo By Jennifer Thomas

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Pinal County authorities say they've identified a suspect and found a vehicle believed to be involved in a hit-and-run accident in which an 18-year-old skateboarder was fatally injured.

Giovanni Saucedo died late Monday night after being critically injured Sunday night in San Tan Valley.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says it has located the vehicle involved in the accident and also identified and interviewed the suspect. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said a tip from the public led them to the vehicle and the suspect.

Although detectives have not made an arrest yet, Babeu said one is imminent.

Babeu said the suspect confessed to hitting somebody, but told investigators he initially believed it was an animal.

"He later knew of the hit-and-run, and he admitted that he should have turned himself in," Babeu said.

Detectives are still doing the required legwork, including serving search warrants to find additional evidence.

"What's telling is we have, initially, a piece of the vehicle, about 6 inches by 6 inches, that matches up like a puzzle piece to the vehicle," he said. "The issue here now is even if it's not this person's 'fault,' ... they're going to get charged with a serious felony [because he left the scene]."

It's not clear yet whether that suspect will face a class 2 or a class 3 felony.

"That vehicle and the driver had a lawful obligation to stop, to call 911 and to try to render aid to the injured young man," Babeu said. "He failed to to that, just took off."

"People sometimes, when they're under stress, make very bad decisions and this is clearly one of them," Babeu continued. "This is a serious criminal offense."

Detectives are trying to determine if there are other factors, including possible impairment, that might have played a role in the collision that killed Saucedo.

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