Man charged in 2006 hit-and-run that killed joggerBy Derek Sciba and KATU Web Staff
PORTLAND, Ore. - Exactly one year after a jogger was hit and killed by a driver in the Columbia River Gorge, detectives arrested a suspect they had been following for months.
Rocendo Rosales-Corona, 25, was arrested in Lodi, Calif., on Saturday, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
Kimberly Powell, 23, died of her injuries after the wreck, which occurred July 14, 2006.
The driver did not stop to help the injured woman but instead drove away, leaving behind the car's sideview mirror and plenty of questions.
"I was thinking that it was going to be one of those unsolved cases," said Kimberly's mother, Janet Tremain. Kimberly is pictured below.
For months, Kimberly's family had tried to research the case themselves and worked to set up a reward.
Janet and step-father Allen Tremain learned of the break in the case this weekend, as they were camping with their church. When they returned to their RV in the evening, the couple saw 11 missed calls on their cell phone, three of which came from the detectives. When they called the detectives back and heard the news, Janet was overjoyed.
"It was a loud scream throughout the campground sort of thing," Janet Tremain said.
Sheriff's officials lauded the work of Detective Jay Pentheny and Gresham Police Detective Jason Servo, who spent hundreds of hours on the case.
According to the sheriff's office, the detectives received a tip from an informant in October that led them to a vehicle believed involved in the hit-and-run.
The informant, who was from the southwestern U.S., also gave them information that led them to finger Rosales-Corona as a suspect.
Deputies said he is a resident of Mexico who was working at a farm in Oregon at the time of the wreck. They said he moved back to Mexico after the crash then decided to come back to California a few weeks ago to find a new job.
The detectives heard that Rosales-Corona may be in California so they flew to Lodi on Friday to track down new leads. The detectives were nearly out of options Saturday when they decided to follow one last tip, which led them to a store. The sheriff's office said the detectives saw Rosales-Corona go inside, so they waited anxiously as he went into the shop.
"When he came back out, the detectives approached him, identified who they were, and before they said anything else, he just hung his head and said, 'I know who you are,'" said Lt. Jason Gates, a sheriff's office spokesman.
Kimberly's mom and step-dad, pictured above, mourned their daughter on Saturday while marking the one-year anniversary of her death. They received comfort from their church, however. Janet Tremain said on Saturday she was baptized hours before she learned Rosales-Corona had been caught.
"I have been baptized before, but it was within me to be baptized again and re-dedicate myself on the one-year anniversary," she said.
With the arrest, she said, she feels comforted.
"I know that he is going to serve some amount of time, and that he is not going to be continuing his life, knowing that he got away with something," she said.
Janet Tremain said they prefer to call her daughter McDaniel rather than Powell.
She said her daughter's death coincides with the finalization of a divorce, and McDaniel was her maiden name.
Kimberly's step-dad said a peace has come over the home since the arrest.
"Just the tone of the house, and everybody else has just been uplifted, it's just a different level," Allen Tremain said.
Both parents said they were disappointed that Rosales-Corona was in the country at all and able to work in Oregon.
Authorities said Rosales-Corona has a criminal record in California but specifics were not available.
"You know I'm thinking, if he wasn't here illegally, he never would have been there, and it never would have happened," Janet Tremain said. "But you know, there's nothing that I can do to change that."