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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Coral Gables police are one step closer to finding the driver who struck a bicyclist early Thursday morning and left him in the road to die.

Late Thursday they found the car at 8500 SW 46th Street; it had front end damage and a shattered windshield. The vehicle was towed away from the scene for processing by police.
The car, a gray Nissan Altima, was parked behind a fence covered up by a kiddie pool, according to Coral Gables Officer Kelly Denham.

The cyclist was struck at 3:13 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Bird Road and Granada Boulevard.

Police believe the driver stopped briefly four blocks after hitting the cyclist to leave the victim’s bike and shoe behind.

CLICK HERE To WATCH Peter D’Oench’s Report

“We had pieces of that Nissan that were left at the scene of the impact. Detectives took it to a dealership were able to determine year make color and model of the vehicle. Through exhaustive measure, detectives were able to locate the Nissan Altima that was involved in the hit and run,” said Denham.

Cops served a search warrant at the home but they said nobody answered the door.

Jess, a neighbor, said the incident is “scary.”

“Freaked me out, I mean, to actually think that someone who lives around here would do that, that’s a little scary,” said Jess.

Neighbors said they’ve seen the car at the home before.

“Most of the time it’s there right in front of the house,” Luis Francisco.

Many said they are shocked to think that the family who lives there could be involved.

Francisco told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the family that lives in the home are “really nice people.”

“They are a beautiful couple. Very nice, a very nice person, very good person,” said neighbor Gilberto Mesa. “I was shocked. I never thought that would happen to them.”

While police have not identified the driver but they said they hope to have someone in custody soon.

“We have several great leads like the one that lead us to this car. The investigation continues and we’re hoping to make an arrest out of this,” said Denham.

Police said the victim had no identification on him at the time of the crash so they are hoping the Medical Examiner’s Office can identify him.

Police are asking anyone who was on Bird Road early Thursday to think about if they saw anything unusual and to call Crime Stoppers 305-473-TIPS.

Peter D'Oench

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