FRESNO, Calif. - Police in central California were searching for the driver of a pickup truck that struck a woman walking her dog Friday and kept going, dragging her more than 8 miles to a hotel parking lot, where she was found dead.
The 29-year-old woman was pushing a shopping cart and had her dog on a leash when she was hit by a gray or silver pickup truck at the intersection of Herndon and Millburn in Fresno, said Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley.
The man kept driving with the woman trapped under his truck and stopped at a hotel, where he parked in the parking lot, got out of the pickup truck, and went to the lobby to ask for a room, Dooley said.
When the man was told there was no vacancy, he left and was pulling back in his truck when another hotel guest saw the woman’s partial remains dislodge from under the pickup truck and called the police, Dooley said.
"This is an absolute tragedy," he said.
Dooley said the woman has been identified and was believed to be homeless but that her name won’t be released at this time out of respect for her and her loved ones.
Surveillance video captured the man arriving at the hotel in his heavily damaged truck, exiting his vehicle, and leaving shortly after. Dooley said the surveillance video from the hotel won’t be released.
"I saw the video footage because everything was captured on surveillance footage. We’re not going to release this," he said. "There’s nothing to gain by releasing this."
Police released frame grabs of the Chevy Silverado pickup truck with its front heavily damaged and of the man in the lobby of the hotel and asked anyone who recognizes him to contact the Fresno Police Department.
During a news conference, Dooley asked the man to turn himself in and for his family or friends to contact authorities.
"If the driver of that vehicle was watching today, we’re asking you to contact the police department. If family members or friends recognize this photograph, we’re asking you to contact the police department," he said.