September 20, 2013

Merced police ID suspect in fatal hit and run

Police on Friday identified the Merced man they believe struck and killed a woman with his vehicle earlier this week and asked for the public’s help locating him.

Authorities said Jessie Madrano, 32, was driving a black 2013 Honda Accord around 9:21 p.m. Sunday near Yosemite Park Way at the Bradley overpass when he struck 51-year-old Ivy Spratling.

An arrest warrant has been issued charging Madrano with felony counts of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, Sgt. Jay Struble said Friday.

“He knows he’s wanted,” Struble said. "We'd (like) someone to call dispatch and keep eyes on him to direct us to where he is now."

Officers also released a photo of Madrano from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Struble said Madrano was coming off the overpass heading west when the collision occurred. After the crash, the suspect got out of his vehicle, looked at Spratling lying in the roadway and drove away, according to police.

Emergency responders rushed Spratling to Mercy Medical Center Merced, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Struble declined to say exactly how investigators identified Madrano as the prime suspect.

Police found Madrano’s car Thursday in the 3400 block of De Anza Court. It had been concealed under a car cover. "He (Madrano) lives in that vicinity," Struble said.

Struble cautioned residents against concealing or helping Madrano avoid capture.

"If we find someone hiding him or helping leave the area, there could be criminal charges filed against them for harboring a fugitive," Struble said.

Though it was not clear if Madrano may be considered dangerous, policed advised residents not approach him.

“Contact dispatch and let us know where he is,” Struble said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Merced Police Department at (209) 385-4702 or the department’s tip line at (209) 385-4725. Tips are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

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