By Melissa Garcia
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Police are asking for the public’s help to find the hit-and-run driver who killed a soldier in a Lakewood crash more than four years ago.
Police believe that the suspect, identified as Heriberto Palacio, was driving the SUV responsible for the wreck that killed Jesse Pringle.
Investigators said that Pringle, 26, was driving his motorcycle eastbound on Alameda Avenue near Benton Street with his girlfriend on Sept. 12, 2012, when an SUV heading westbound made a left turn in front of him.
The motorcycle hit the SUV. The driver of the SUV took off, leaving the two victims for dead in the street.
“I found out at like 3-o-clock in the morning, and that was pretty devastating,” said Brady Bathrick, Pringle’s younger brother.
Bathrick’s girlfriend survived but Pringle died from his injuries.
“Only the good die young,” said Bathrick.
Pringle was an Army specialist who survived tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to return home to have his life taken in a hit & run.
Investigators matched pieces of the vehicle that were left behind at the scene with a Ford Expedition that was parked in a garage in Denver. Police believe its owner, Palacio, was behind the wheel.
“(He should have) stopped, and at least seen if he was okay,” said Bathrick. “Try to call an ambulance. Even if (he) was drunk, that’s only a DUI.”
Police said that Palacio has been in hiding ever since the crash and is possibly traveling back and forth between Denver and his native country of Mexico.
Friends and family members said they hadn’t seen or heard from him either since the crash.
Police said that was not stopping detectives from searching for the suspect.
“I think there’s always hope,” said Lakewood Police Department spokeswoman Lindsay Jones. “Our detectives keep trying, and with a family that keeps pushing to find a suspect, it definitely keeps the detectives on the case.”
Police said the case was still an open investigation, and urged anyone with information to call police.