DENVER (CBS4)– The man accused in a hit and run that killed a young woman has been arrested. Police have been searching for the driver of that car since the collision early Sunday morning.
Police found Dennis Esquibel on Thursday.
“Which is a class three felony, carries four to 12 years in the penitentiary,” said Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.
Officers had reached out to the public for help in tracking down the driver of the car. They released surveillance video from the scene at the intersection of Broadway and Cedar and followed up on dozens of leads called in by the public.
Police claim Esquibel, 25, was driving his mother’s car, a Toyota Corolla, with two women as passengers inside the car at the time of the hit-and-run.
That car was located several days later by some workers in an industrial area in southwest Denver, near Jason Street and Louisiana Avenue.
“Once the vehicle was found abandoned, by members of the public and alerted us right away that took the case light years ahead that’s what really broke it and allowed us to make an arrest so rapidly,” said Denver Police Department Detective Mike Farr.
Esquibel’s father insists his son wasn’t behind the wheel because he is on parole,” I know my son, I know my son better than that.
“If anything he rode bikes. He won’t get behind a wheel. I don’t see him driving,” said Dennis Esquibel, Esquibel’s father. “I don’t think he was driving the car. Somebody else was driving the car, that’s what I heard.”
“Because he’s on probation and he hasn’t driven ever since he got out,” said Esquibel’s cousin Brooke Esquibel.
Court records show Esquibel has served time in prison on drug-related charges.
Laura McDermott, 32, died shortly after being struck by the vehicle. She was with her boyfriend and friends.
She was with her boyfriend Nate Iler at the time, and Iler told CBS4 on Tuesday he had big plans for their future.
“I was never planning for an end. I was planning for a new beginning,” he said.
Iler had ordered an engagement ring and was ready to propose to McDermott next month. The ring is still scheduled to be delivered next week.
“I never expected something like this to happen or I would have (proposed) a long time ago,” Iler said.
Police investigating the surveillance video believe Esquibel was not only behind the wheel but speeding.
“According to the video it appears the car is doing at least double the speed limit of the vehicles that happen to be involved in the general area, so roughly 60 or 65 mph,” said Detective Dave Carroll.
Esquibel will be charged as the driver, according to the Denver DA.