LA MIRADA (CBS) — The suspect in a fatal hit-and-run crash turned himself in Tuesday evening, the same day that he allegedly killed a La Mirada man while he was crossing the street.
Jeffrey Rocha, 27, and his attorney went to the Norwalk Sheriff’s station and surrendered to police shortly after 5 p.m. Rocha is not the registered owner of the car that was found near the scene of the accident.
Sheriff’s deputies will not say whether they believe the car was stolen.
Raul Quintanilla, who was in his 70s, was hit while on a walk in the area of Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Olive Branch Drive about 4 a.m., according to sheriff’s Sgt. Ralph Gama of the Norwalk Station.
“Yeah, it’s pretty tragic…I’ve got eight days before my birthday,” said the victim’s son, fighting back tears.
Quintanilla died at the scene.
“He said, ‘I’ll be right back, I’m going for a walk,'” said Quintanilla’s wife, who had been married to the victim for 50 years.
Quintanilla had recently retired after working as a chef for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
He normally took his walk in the evening but Tuesday he decided told his wife he felt like taking an early-morning walk.
Investigators said the driver made no effort to slow down after the crash.
The car was found a mile and a half away from the accident, with the windshield shattered on the right hand side. Investigators placed a trail of cones, markers for where they found blood footprints, leading away from the car.
Additional evidence was found in the opposite direction from the accident, about a mile away.
Law enforcement interviewed the registered owner of the car earlier Tuesday but determined that the actual suspect was still at large.
“The person who did this, by the look of the car, they absolutely know they hit somebody,” said Sgt. Brian Doyle, of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. “They intentionally did not stop and kept going.”