SDPD Tows Van in Deadly Hit-and-Run Investigation

Officers have not confirmed the vehicle was the one involved in the teen skateboarder's death

A minivan that may have struck and killed a teenage skateboarder in El Cerrito was in police custody Tuesday but investigators say they have not made any arrests.

Jonathan Cortez, 15, died just two days before he was to celebrate his birthday. Investigators believe the teenager was struck by a Dodge Caravan Friday evening near 3600 54th Street. The driver did not stop at the scene, officers said.

On Monday, San Diego police say the driver called to turn in himself and his vehicle. Officers found the green minivan with damage over the front driver’s side wheel found parked in an apartment complex on 50th Street approximately six miles away.

Its license plate was the same one that police asked the public to be on the lookout for.

The minivan was towed by police officers Monday night.

According to SDPD Detective Dan Wall, officers have not made any arrests because they want to do more investigation.

Cortez's classmates rallied Tuesday afternoon by the site where he died, furious that there have been no arrests and chanting "Justice for Jonathan." 

"We want justice now. They're taking too long," said Elizabeth Sebastian. "They already found the guy. He already turned himself in. What are they waiting for?"

Wall said they are turning the case over the District Attorney's office because the SDPD crime lab is backlogged with other cases.

If they took someone into custody, Wall explained, detectives would have had to put together all the evidence against the suspect and present it before the court within 72 hours of the arrest.

"I need time to do it right," he told NBC 7.

A man discovered lying on the side of the road in El Cerrito has died. Investigators are trying to determine if he may have been the victim of a hit-and-run. NBC 7’s Candice Nguyen reports.

Investigators said several vehicles swerved to avoid the teen lying in the road Friday, but the Dodge Caravan hit Cortez.

It’s unclear whether the teen had been hit before being struck by the Caravan, police said.

Witnesses reported seeing him skateboarding on the street before being hit.

Cortez was a student at Crawford High School.

Anyone with information should call the San Diego Police Department's traffic division at 858-495-7800 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477.

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