FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — There’s a break in the case of a fatal hit-and-run as investigators believe they’ve found the vehicle in question and have taken two people into custody.
The front windshield and back window of a dark blue BMW were found shattered. The car was abandoned in front of a Sunrise home.
“Investigators responded to this location and took custody of the vehicle and also located the two occupants that were traveling in the vehicle at the time of the crash,” said Ft. Lauderdale Police.
Julie Pratt said she had just crossed Broward Blvd, near N.W. 15th Avenue, when she heard the crash.
“It was a boom sound and then a drag-like sound,” she recalled.
It was about 5:55 a.m. Friday when the man known as “Uncle” to the community was hit while crossing the street.
“I’ve seen him around here, he’s a regular person. He comes into Dunkin Donuts, they know him in there,” said Pratt. “He was very respectful, he sleeps in the back of the Salvation Army. He’s homeless.”
Those in the neighborhood said their Uncle, who was in his 70’s, may have been homeless, but he had self-respect and pride. He cleaned up the parking lot of the Dunkin Donuts and never asked for anything in return.
Witnesses said he was dragged by the car for the length of a football field after he was hit. They said the driver never stopped or even slowed down.
The BMW was later found parked next to Jamel Moreno’s home, near N.W. 25th Street and 89th Avenue.
“I didn’t know what to do about this car that was in front of my house,” said Moreno, who snapped photos of the damaged car before realizing it may have taken someone’s life. “I feel bad. I did not know when I happened to look at this car. It looked like he hit somebody. The windshield was pushed in. It looked like he hit somebody.”
His neighbor also noticed it.
“It is terrible and I have seen a lot,” said Fernando Castro. “I was 39 years in the military.”
The Salvation Army said it was deeply saddened by the loss of one of its clients.
“He was a gentleman that was trying his best to get back on his feet and become independent,” said the organization’s Alyse Gossman. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will truly be missed.”
It’s unknown if the victim has any family members in the area and has not been identified yet.
Police have not confirmed whether the owner of the BMW was behind the wheel and are urging witnesses to come forward.