Car found in fatal hit-and-run

August 7, 2008 12:39:41 PM PDT
Police continue to search for the driver behind the wheel of a hit-and-run car that killed a teenage girl. The car itself was recovered Wednesday. Police have identified a "person of interest" in the case, 26-year old Lamuel Payne.

Action News obtained these pictures of the black Mercedes Benz after authorities pulled it out of a garage behind a home at 312 South State Road in Upper Darby.

The car had damage to the hood and passenger door consistent with what authorities had suspected. And someone had gone through great measures to keep it from being discovered: the windows of the garage had been painted so you could not see inside, and the license tags had been removed. Authorities had to use the vehicle's indentification number to trace the owner.

"Well, obviously we would like the owner of the vehicle to contact us and come in and speak with us and give us some information about the car itself," said Sharon Hill police chief Bob Tinsley.

The car was being sought in connection with Sunday night's hit-and-run accident on Chester Pike in Sharon Hill that killed 16-year old Faith Sinclair, a promising young honor student at Ridley High School who hoped to become a special education teacher.

Wednesday night, relatives and friends of the victim gathered at a shrine of flowers and stuffed animals near the accident scene. While they declined to speak on-camera until the suspect is captured, they were relieved that the car had been located thanks to a $10,000 reward from the Citizens Crime Commission.

"We received several calls this morning, we received one call directly here at the police station and we got 2 or 3 others from the Citizens Crime Commission via the reward number we just put out, all those tips led us in the same direction," said Chief Tinsley.

Residents in Upper Darby were alarmed to learn the vehicle wanted in the accident was found in their neighborhood.

"It kinda made me scared cause we live 2 doors down, so I don't know what to expect and I didn't expect it to be there either," said neighbor Courtney Baker.

Thursday morning, investigators from the Delaware County District Attorney's criminal investigations division were scheduled to conduct forensic analysis of the car. Meanwhile, funeral services for Faith Sinclair are set for Friday morning at the Kevin M. Lyons funeral home in Glenolden.

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