A suspect who may have been at the wheel when a pedestrian was killed on Seymour Street West last October has died, Kamloops RCMP said today (May 3, 2019).
The hit and run happened at 1:30 a.m. Oct. 20 when 48-year-old Frank McDermott was hit by a passing car near the BC Lottery Corporation building. The vehicle left the scene. McDermott died in hospital.
Cpl. Jodie Shelkie said that, through a joint investigation by the General Investigation Support Team, Serious Crime Unit and Traffic Services, a suspect vehicle was identified and seized in November. Evidence was obtained from the search of the vehicle and then sent for forensic testing, and through DNA it was “positively linked” to the hit and run.
Police believe the registered owner of the vehicle, a 75-year-old Kamloops man, was the driver at the time of the collision, and they were in the process of moving the investigation forward when it was learned that the suspect had recently died.
“Fragmented pieces of the suspect vehicle at the scene and surveillance video from different locations helped identify the model of the suspect vehicle and eliminate makes of other vehicles in the area,” Shelkie explained.
“Once the vehicle’s make and model was known, a police officer on patrol saw the vehicle. From there, a search warrant was obtained to seize the vehicle and have it forensically analyzed to positively place it at the scene of the hit and run. All of these investigation steps take time and expertise to come to a successful conclusion.”
She said that due to the suspect’s death, the case will be closed.
RCMP first thought the car was a silver Dodge neon, then a “cobalt blue” four-door sedan, make and model unknown. Both vehicles were soon ruled out.