Police: Driver ID'd in deadly hit-and-run, may be out of state

CMPD search for driver of while van they believe hit and killed a child
Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza, 32 (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza, 32 (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Days after police found a white van believed to be involved in a deadly hit-and-run that killed a young boy in east Charlotte, a suspect has been identified by police as the possible driver.

Thursday morning, investigators say Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza, 32, is believed to be the driver. Detectives have been in contact with the Quintanilla-Garza who is believed to be out of the state. He is currently wanted for felony hit-and-run.

Young boy killed

Community members are now calling on Quintanilla-Garza to come forward.

"Come forward and take the medicine," said Dawn Carpenter. "You shouldn't be running because you took away a life that wasn't even started yet. I wish that he would come forward so they can give him what he needs because he needs to go to jail for life."

Family members and neighbors say someone struck 6-year-old Anthony Santos Castellon-Rivera with a white work van and drove off.

"If it was my child, I hope the police get you first," said neighbor Meko Krider regarding the suspect.

Police say Castellon-Rivera was hit while he and his family were crossing Eastway Drive at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. The young boy was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he later died.

Carpenter knew the little boy and took two stuffed animals to a road-side memorial.

"The pink one was for the sister because she was feeling so bad and the white one was in memory of him because he's my next door neighbor and I use to watch him play and everything else," Carpenter told WBTV.

Witnesses told police the driver of the van stopped, got out of the van, then got back in to drive away. A photo of the suspected van was released by police Monday.

Tuesday, the van was located at a home on the 9800 block of Idlewild Road in east Charlotte. Sky 3 was over the scene as authorities inspected the suspected vehicle. It was taken to police headquarters for further investigation.

Neighbors living off of Eastway Drive near the accident site worry about the safety of other pedestrians in the community.

"It's too many kids in this neighborhood and for the surrounding area the cars to be going that fast," said Krider.

Search warrant reveals new details

In a search warrant obtained Thursday morning, officers detailed potential evidence, including hair samples and blood, that was located on the van.

According to the search warrant, the van has a distinctive front right wheel and right rear wheel. The front right wheel is a "mag wheel" type and the right rear wheel is a steel wheel with no hubcap.

The report goes on to say that the van had right side damage, which matched damage seen in the surveillance video.

Police say the van is registered to Kelvin Jhonatan Calderon, who has a listed address of 9819 Idlewild Road.

Police gathered four hair samples from the van, according to the warrant. There were also three samples collected believe to be human blood.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza is asked to call Detective S. Williams at 704-432-2169 or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.  The public can also visit the Crime Stoppers mobile app website at http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.


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