Police Locate Possible Vehicle in Deadly Hit-and-Run

Friends have identified the victim as Leonardo Olivares

By Christina London and Dave Summers
|  Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  |  Updated 7:28 AM PDT
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Hit-and-Run Victim Remembered in Southcrest

Leonardo Olivares was struck and killed while collecting cans in the Southcrest neighborhood. NBC 7's Dave Summers spoke with some neighbors who called Olivares "Tiger" because of his green eye.

Would Higher Rewards Help Solve Hit and Runs?

San Diego County Crime Stoppers is looking for ways to help put an end to a recent rash of hit and run accident deaths by way of offering larger rewards for information that will help officials solve these unfortunate crimes. NBC 7's Dave Summers reports.
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Police may have located the vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run accident in Southcrest.

Meanwhile, family and friends have identified the victim as Leonardo Olivares.

Just before 9 p.m. Monday, a pickup truck hit Olivares in the 3900 block of National Ave. Olivares had been searching garbage bins near the curb for aluminum cans.

According to police, the man was thrown underneath a parked car, and the truck drove away.

Olivares was pronounced dead at the UCSD Medical Center.

The suspect’s truck was described as a dark colored extended cab, possibly with a toolbox in the back, last seen driving west on National Avenue.

Tuesday afternoon, a tip led police to the 3400 block of Valle Ave. in Mountain View, less than a mile from the accident site.

According to police, officers discovered a 1990s green Dodge Ram. The truck had significant damage, consistent with a head-on collision.

Residents of the apartment building where the truck was found say it doesn’t belong to anyone there and that cars are often dumped at the end of the dead-end street.

Police impounded the truck for further investigation. So far, no arrests have been made.

On Tuesday night, family and friends gathered at a sidewalk shrine where Olivares was killed.

“He was funny. He was just outgoing, helpful,” said longtime friend Sandra Lopez.

In the neighborhood, Olivares was called “Tiger” because of his distinct green eyes.

“He was homeless,” Lopez explained. “Then my dad took him in. He was living with us for a while. He was just part of the family.”

“We’ve known him for so long. He was just a really sweet man,” she added.

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