Police arrest suspect for hit-and-run that killed Dallas girl - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Police arrest suspect for hit-and-run that killed Dallas girl

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DALLAS -

Dallas police have made an arrest in the case of a hit-and-run that killed a little girl.

Julius Sears, 27, is facing charges for an accident involving injury or death, which is a second degree felony.

Police said he was driving a black Chrysler car that struck and killed 7-year-old Melany Valdez on Tuesday night. She had been playing with friends and tried to cross the street in the 6900 block of Hemlock Avenue.

Several witnesses chased Sears to an apartment complex, but he ditched the car and got away.

Police said investigators tracked the car to a used car lot, where they learned it was recently purchased. They began questioning the general manager there, Tommy Williams, about Sears.

Williams says that moments before police showed up, Sears had called him in a panic, saying he needed new tags.

Suspicious, Williams arranged for Sears to come back to the lot, but then, the incident took an unexpected turn -- Dallas police abruptly left.

Sears just walked away, even though police acknowledge Sears had other outstanding misdemeanor warrants and should have been arrested for those charges on the spot.

"We're looking at currently why that didn't happen," said Assistant Chief Mike Genovesi with the Dallas Police Department.

Through phone records, police traced Sears back to a nearby Garland motel and arrested him late Wednesday after they obtained a warrant. They believe Sears was planning on skipping town.

According to police, he said he was unaware he had hit the girl.

Sears has a criminal history that includes aggravated assault, drug possession, theft and driving with a suspended license. He also had outstanding warrants out of Dallas.

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