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Medina Alert key in arrest of fatal hit-and-run suspect

An alert citizen called 911 after recognizing the vehicle as wanted in a deadly hit-and-run crash a day earlier.

DENVER — A Medina Alert issued after a fatal hit-and-run crash last weekend in Denver was key in helping Denver Police locate and arrest the suspect.

The victim was struck and killed at North Federal Boulevard and West 14th Avenue just after 8 p.m. Friday. The coroner's office has not released their name.

The very next day, the suspect, 42-year-old Francisco Duenas-Colmenares, and his vehicle were located in Lakewood.

Through witnesses and video, police identified the vehicle involved as a white 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck. They were also able to determine its license plate. Using that information, police obtained a phone number for Duenas-Colmenares and called him about an hour after the fatal crash.

He spoke with a detective, but it is unknown what he said because his statements are redacted from the PC statement. Detectives also spoke with a witness who related that Duenas-Colmenares made statements that he "might have hit and killed someone."

Investigators issued an attempt to locate for Duenas-Colmenares and issued the Medina Alert. Around 2 p.m. the next day, someone called 911 and said they saw the vehicle from the alert in a parking lot in the 5600 block of West Alameda Avenue in Lakewood.

Detectives responded there and found the vehicle in the lot unoccupied and learned that Duenas-Colmenares was inside a store. He was detained without incident.

Officers spoke with store employees who said that Duenas-Colmenares had been in the store around 5 p.m. the day before, just a few hours before the deadly crash.

Police looked at the security video, which according to the PC statement, showed Duenas-Colmenares' vehicle with no front-end damage. In a video from the next day, there is "clearly significant" damage to that area, the PC statement says.

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