Search continues for suspect now charged in fatal Bay View hit-and-run
Updated 8:41 a.m. on January 5, 2020
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Police continue their search for the man connected to a crash that killed James Hanson in Bay View on Christmas Eve.
Manuel Salazar-Guiterrez is now charged with second degree reckless homicide and hit-and-run resulting in death.
According to the criminal complaint, the defendant was traveling southbound on Howell when the vehicle left the roadway and went up onto the sidewalk, striking Hanson and knocking over a light pole before re-entering the roadway without stopping or slowing down.
A citizen called police to report that minutes before the crash, he saw the suspect get out of the Jeep and adjust the ladder on top before getting back in and driving at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road.
Milwaukee Police used surveillance from buses to trace the movements of the jeep. They were able to locate the jeep in the 1600 block of 6th Street prior to the crash. An SUV was parked near it.
Milwaukee Police spoke with the owner of the SUV who identified himself as the defendant's employer. He told police that the defendant was at his home earlier that evening and at one point, the two of them drove to a liquor store where the defendant bought a bottle of tequila before getting into his jeep and driving away alone.
The jeep was later found abandoned in an alley in the 2600 block of 19th Street. The jeep had damage consistent with the accident.
Six fingerprints that matched the defendant were located in the interior and exterior of the jeep.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Salazar-Guiterrez are asked to call Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360 or Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.
James Hanson, 36, was killed after being hit while walking her dogs near Rosedale and Howell. The striking driver left the scene.
Authorities now want to locate 44-year-old Manuel Salazar-Gutierrez, described as a Hispanic male, standing 6'1" tall, weighing 250 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
The new information from police comes the same day as Hanson's friends and family are mourning her at her funeral.
"I think that having a person of interest is kind of giving us all a little bit of closure, but finding him is going to give us a lot more closure," said Mo Crosby, Hanson's friend and coworker. "We're hoping that he either brings himself forward or that he's still in the area and we can find him."
Hanson worked as a bartender at the Milwaukee Brat House, and bars across the area are now coming together to support her family.
Gingerz Sports Pub and Grill started a fundraiser to offer a $10,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to the arrest of the driver who hit Hanson. The pub has since raised even more than that amount, in part from bars offering to match other donations.
"Somebody knows something," said the pub's owner, Mary Niland. "I would hope that this money would be enough to say, 'I don't like this person enough not to tell, not to come forward' and provide the information that they know."
Police said Salazar-Gutierrez, the person of interest in the case has several tattoos, including "Zacateca" across his abdomen.
If anyone has any information on this individual or his whereabouts call Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or call Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS where you could possibly receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.