Prosecutor Hoping for Arrest Soon in Yakima Fatal Hit and Run
Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says he's working closely with the U.S. Marshal's Office in the search for the man wanted in Yakima for the June 12 fatal hit-and-run death of Wendy Baker. Baker was killed while riding a bike along Summitview Road.
An arrest warrant has been issued as the search continues
Last week an arrest warrant was issued for 42-year-old Juan Carlos Vargas charging him with hit-and-run fatality. Bail has been set at $250,000 if he's found and arrested. Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic believes he may have fled south to Mexico. An investigation continues to try and find Vargas as the Brusic works with federal authorities.
Brusic says working with Mexican authorities is a challenge and he says if Vargas is arrested it'll be a challenge to have him extradited back to Yakima County to face charges. Brusic says he's worked with authorities on the federal level and in Mexico in the past and has seen people brought back to Yakima to face charges after fleeing south.
Investigators are confident they have strong case
Prosecutors say on the morning of June 12 Vargas, driving a GMC Denali pickup struck Baker as she was riding along the side of the road. They say he crossed the fog line struck Baker and then fled the scene. They accuse Vargas of failing to stop and offer any help or assistance or any other information that could identify him as the driver.
There was no eyewitness that could identify the driver so Brusic says the case against Vargas is largely a circumstantial case based on a variety of evidence that points to Vargas as the driver the crash. That evidence includes computer information from Vargas' vehicle and cell phone along with other video evidence from Ring videos recorded in the area of the crash.
Don't miss our conversation with Prosecutor Brusic on Friday morning
Brusic will talk more about the case and the search for the suspect during an appearance on The Morning News on KIT at 8:15 am Friday, September 9.