High-speed pursuit, crash, in Hemet
Hemet police officers arrested an alleged car thief at the end of an early morning vehicle pursuit on May 27. The pursuit, which lasted about 15 minutes, ended when the driver of the alleged stolen car lost control and crashed into a fence. The suspect fled from the car and hid in a residential back yard before officers found and arrested him.
The incident began around 5:30 a.m. when a Hemet police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop after spotting a vehicle that was reported stolen. The driver, who has not been identified by officials, may be a juvenile.
The chase, which required the assistance of other officers, occurred along main streets and through residential neighborhoods. The suspect drove recklessly without regard for the safety of other citizens or officers during the pursuit.
The driver ultimately lost control and crashed into a fence at the intersection of Ensenada Drive and Fruitvale Avenue.
After crashing the stolen car, the driver fled into the neighborhood. Citizens who witnessed the crash told the officer that the suspect was last seen jumping fences and running through back yards.
Officers quickly established a perimeter and searched yard to yard, eventually finding the suspect hiding in the backyard of a home in the 2600 block of W. Fruitvale Ave. He was arrested without further incident. No injuries were reported.
New technology identifies fatal hit and run victim from 36 years ago
On January 26, 1981, the Riverside County Coroner conducted a death investigation of an adult male who was struck by a vehicle on State Route 74, near Agnew Avenue, in the city of Homeland. The driver fled the scene, leaving the decedent on the shoulder of the roadway with fatal injuries. No identification was located on the decedent or in the area. An extensive search was conducted in the nearby communities to identify the decedent with no results.
Further attempts to identify the decedent have been made over the last 36 years, including fingerprint submissions to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Identification and the FBI, searches of local missing persons, sketch and information distribution through the Coroner’s website, and in most recent years, submission of case information to NamUs, the National Institute of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
On April 28, 2017, the FBI, Major Incident Program/Latent Prints Support Unit applied new fingerprint technology to fingerprints submitted to NamUS, the FBI was able to positively identify the decedent as Marvin H. Meeker.
On May 24, 2017, after an extensive search for family, the Riverside County Coroner was able to locate Marvin Meeker’s family. According to family, Mr. Meeker was known to go walking, but failed to come home one day in January 1981. Family searched for Mr. Meeker, but eventually moved out of the area.
The continued, persistent efforts by all involved agencies resulted in the identification of Mr. Meeker and subsequent notification to his family. Continued efforts are being made to identify other decedents, a complete list of unidentified persons can be located on the Riverside County Coroner’s website: