Police arrest man in connection to hit-and-run that killed Phoen

Arizona

Police arrest man in connection to hit-and-run that killed Phoenix officer

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PHOENIX (CBS5) - Phoenix police arrested an undocumented immigrant in connection with the hit-and-run that killed a Phoenix police officer early Sunday morning.

Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24, is the registered owner of green Ford SUV that was tied to the scene where Officer Daryl Raetz was struck and killed early Sunday morning.

Raetz was assisting other officers in processing a DUI suspect about 3:30 a.m. Sunday near 51st and Cambridge avenues when he was hit by the dark green SUV.

Surprise police later stopped the SUV with Molina at the wheel and found damage to the hood and grill consistent with that described by Phoenix police after it left the scene.

Surprise police said Molina consented to a search and while he removed items from his pockets, they noticed a small plastic bag of white powder, later identified as cocaine, fall to the ground.

Phoenix police later arrived at the scene were able to match vehicle parts at the scene of the hit-and-run to the Ford.

Molina was taken to Maricopa County Jail and later identified by an off-duty police officer as the driver of the vehicle that left the fatal scene.

Molina was booked into jail on one count of felony drug possession.

Molina told investigators he was in the U.S. illegally, according to his initial court paperwork.

The investigation continues.

Raetz, 29, was assigned to the 81K squad in the Maryvale Precinct. He was an Iraqi war veteran. He leaves behind a wife and young child.

People wishing to help the family can make online donations at the 100 Club of Arizona.

Raetz died hours after Phoenix Firefighter Bradley Harper was killed while battling a mulch fire near Lower Buckeye Road and 35th Avenue.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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