LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A break in a Denver hit-and-run case in which an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran died is giving the family of the victim some relief.
Weeks after the Lakewood crash, investigators have identified the suspect and say they say they need help finding him. They believe Heriberto Palacio is hiding somewhere in the Denver metro area.
“The detectives identified him, they’ve been actively looking for him and talking with family, coworkers, places he hangs out,” said Agent Ty Countryman with Lakewood police.
Palacio is suspected of driving the SUV that hit a motorcycle on Aug. 9 near the intersection of West Alameda and South Benton Street. Jesse Pringle, 26, and his girlfriend were riding on the motorcycle and the driver of the SUV took off. Pringle died a few days later and the woman, his passenger, was in the hospital for several weeks afterwards. She is still recovering from a brain injury.
Police say they have found an SUV that was likely the one the suspect was driving.
“We had parts that were left on the scene of the accident which we were able to tie them in to the vehicle,” said Countryman.
Pringle’s family is hoping that now with Palacio’s name and picture being released it will encourage the suspect to turn himself and own up to what happened.
“I feel for the family of this person. I feel somebody made a terrible mistake, I feel like they are going to have to come back and face it. You can’t run forever,” Pringle’s mother Priscilla Ingebrigtsen told CBS4.
Pringle is considered a war hero by his family. He was an Army specialist and played football for Lakewood High School.
“More than vindicating Jesse’s death, there is no way to fix what’s broken,” Ingebrigtsen said.
Palacio faces two counts of felony hit-and-run. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Lakewood Police at (303) 987-7111.