Man held in connection to hit-and-run death of officer

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by Mike Gertzman

Video reports by Kristine Harrington and Crystal Cruz

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 1:26 PM

Map: SUV owner arrested

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Map: Hit-and-run

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PHOENIX -- Police have arrested the owner of the SUV believed to be the vehicle that hit and killed a Phoenix police officer early Sunday morning.

That man is 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina, according to court paperwork. He is charged with felony drug possession. He was pulled over by police in El Mirage, Ariz. at about 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Police said he had a small baggy of cocaine in his pocket when he was taken into custody

The court paperwork states that Molina, "is a suspect in a fatal hit and run which resulted in the death of a police officer." It also says that he is in the country illegally and has fled to Mexico in the past. He is being held without bond.

However, according to officials with the Phoenix Police Dept., detectives are working to identify the driver of the vehicle during the hit-and-run.

The Phoenix Police Department announced on Sunday afternoon that the green Ford Expedition involved had been located by Surprise police earlier in the day.

The vehicle has damage to the center of the grill and hood.

Molina is the registered owner of the Ford Expedition. His father told police that his son is the only person who drives the SUV.

Molina was observed in the vehicle by an off-duty police officer approximately 90 minutes after the collision occurred. Molina was later identified by that officer.

Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz, 29, was killed early Sunday morning while handling a DUI investigation near 51st Avenue and Thomas Road.

Raetz was working to process the driver when he was struck by the Expedition. The driver of the SUV then fled the scene.

Immediately after the collision, police released a description of the suspect vehicle and Silent Witness offered of a $5,000 reward in the case.

Anyone with information about the person who was behind the wheel is asked to call 480-WITNESS.

Phoenix police officer killed in hit-and-run


 

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