Paris police said Friday they have identified two suspects in a hit-and-run in March that killed a 16-year-old boy from Turner.
Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Lange would not publicly identify the two suspects Friday night or say what led police to believe they were involved in the hit-and-run that killed Xavier Fuentes on March 15.
An autopsy showed that the teenager died of multiple injuries after being hit by a vehicle while walking along Route 117 in South Paris after dark. The driver who hit him did not stop, and Fuentes was found lying in the westbound travel lane by a passing driver at 8:30 p.m.
Fuentes was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, where he died.
A few days after the crash, police said they had received a tip that led them to interview two “people of interest” in the case. They hadn’t publicly reported any change in the status of their investigation before Friday.
Lange said police conducted a search Friday and one of the suspects was arrested, but on an unrelated charge. Lange wouldn’t identify the person who was arrested or offer any details about what led to the arrest.
During the search, Lange said, police seized a vehicle from one suspect’s home in Lewiston. They also seized a rental car from Hertz at the car rental company’s location in Bangor. Lange wouldn’t say where or when that car had been rented, or whether police believe it was involved directly in the hit-and-run.
Lange said the suspects are being kept under surveillance and he expects arrests in the case soon, but probably not before next week.
Fuentes was killed after going to a movie in Oxford with a cousin on the night of March 15. Police said he had an argument earlier with his grandmother, who dropped him off at the movie theater, although family members described the disagreement as a squabble.
Fuentes left the theater early and was hit on a stretch of Route 117 that was narrow because of snowbanks pushed up against a guardrail.
Route 117 is the main route between South Paris and Turner. The theater where Fuentes went is southwest of South Paris. His body was found four miles east of the theater.
Based on the severity of his injuries, police initially speculated that Fuentes was hit by a pickup truck, possibly with a snowplow attached. A few days later, police backed off that theory somewhat, but said it hadn’t been ruled out.
Lange wouldn’t describe the two vehicles that were seized Friday or say which one police believe might have been involved in the hit-and-run.
In March, police said they got a tip that led them to two “people of interest.”
They also said they had asked auto body shops to contact them if anyone came in with a vehicle needing repairs for damage consistent with having hit someone.
Police initially asked that the driver who hit Fuentes come forward. His family offered a reward for information leading to that person.
The Sun Journal of Lewiston reported Friday that the Portland-based engineering company Woodard and Curran had donated an additional $1,000 to the $1,500 reward offered by the family.
Attempts to reach Fuentes’ mother, Sheila Cole, and his stepfather, Ron Cole, were unsuccessful Friday night.
Days after the crash, Sheila Cole told the Portland Press Herald, “I’d like to be able to look the person in the face and ask them, ‘Why didn’t you stop?’ They must have heard something.”
Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: