Fatal hit-and-run suspect went by several names, investigators say

Published: Apr. 17, 2018 at 7:27 PM CDT
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The suspect in a fatal hit-and-run crash remains jailed held on a $2 million bond.

Police said Luis Velasquez Ortiz was driving on 32nd Street Wednesday when he hit and killed motorcyclist Juan J. Moreno-Tamayo. Velasquez then fled the scene.

Velasquez Ortiz is considered a flight risk. He is from Guatemala and has been in the country illegally for 15 years. While in the U.S. he's been convicted of DUI and possession of a controlled substance.

"It was actually the day you guys broke the news and said that he had fled. And the first thing that went through my mind was 'Oh my God, another family is going to go through the mourning of a loved one, just like we're doing,” said Michelle Root.

Michelle Root feels for the loved ones of Juan Moreno-Tamayo as her daughter, Sarah Root, was killed in a crash in which authorities say was also caused by an illegal immigrant. That suspect, Edwin Mejia, disappeared after posting bond. That was two years ago. Mejia had no felony background. But that's not the case with Velasquez Ortiz. It’s led some people to the question: Why was he still here?

"Well, that's a good question. I mean, I would like to get those answers from ICE," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

Kleine says an illegal immigrant's identity is imperative in carrying out the law. Along with getting them booked and behind bars. He says his office takes that very seriously.

"To make sure ICE gets notified so that they can take action. Because they're the ones who are responsible for that," he said.

While many continue still searching for answers, many more continue to fight for change.

"I just wish that we could have prevented this from happening to this gentleman, as well," said Root.

6 News has learned if Velasquez Ortiz does post his $2 million bond, immigration officials are prepared to detain him and deport him.