Hit-and-run suspect that killed mother, injured deputy now arrested

Search for driver in deadly hit & run

***UPDATE***

Polk County Sheriff deputies have arrested the suspect responsible for killing Jessica Enchautegui-Otero and seriously injuring Deputy Sheriff Adam Pennell in a hit-and-run crash last week.

The arrest was made thanks to an anonymous Heartland Crime Stoppers tip.

FOLLOW UP STORY: Polk arrest: Man admits to hit-and-run that killed mother, injured deputy

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ORIGINAL STORY:

POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- A parents worst nightmare and Reinaldo Enchautegui has now lived through it three times.

"She's the second one I lost this month," Enchautegui said.

After first losing his young son Juan Carlo in 2000 in a car accident, his other son Tito died of a heart attack on October 2nd of this year.  Then, early this morning, his 33-year-old daughter Jessica was killed by a hit and run driver.

"She was a sweet girl. She was my life," Enchautegui said.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says Jessica Enchautegui-Otero crashed her car into bushes on the side of State Road 60 near Lake Wales. Jessica was able to crawl through her windshield and flag down Deputy Adam Pennell from the grassy median. Deputy Pennell put on his lights and called for EMS to treat Jessica. Pennell's last transmission to dispatch was at 12:38 A.M. By the time EMS arrived at 12:45 A.M. both had been hit by a car.

"They found Deputy Pennell and Jessica in the grassy median, obviously they had been hit by a car. [There were] multiple injuries on both," said PCSO spokesperson Carrie Horstman.

The Sheriff's Office says Deputy Pennell suffered a broken pelvis and several other broken bones.  Jessica couldn't be revived. Horstman says little of the car that hit both the deputy and Jessica were found on the scene. Investigators are looking at surveillance cameras, but they are relying on tips from the public.

"I hope they get caught and go to prison," Enchautegui said.

Leaving behind 9 and 16-year-old sons, Enchautegui says he will take care of them.

"Now I gotta be a father and a mother to those kids," Enchautegui said.

Adam Pennell remains in the hospital and will have surgery later in the week. He was recently married to his wife in March 2016 and she is also a deputy. Adam's wife, Deputy Sheriff Christin Pennell released the following statement on the crash:

"Our prayers are with the family of Jessica Enchautegui-Otero,  and we remain hopeful that with the public's help we will find the person responsible for killing her and severely injuring Adam. We appreciate everyone's support while Adam faces upcoming surgery for his injuries, and we ask for your privacy and your prayers. More than anything we hope the suspect is found. Please join us in keeping Jessica's family and loved ones in your prayers during this extremely difficult time."  

Sheriff Grady Judd also put out the following statement:

"We are confident that with the community's help, we will identify and arrest the coward who ran over a deputy and a young woman and left them both for dead, and then fled the scene. We will work day and night until this case is solved. And to the coward who did this - we advise you to turn yourself in, sooner rather than later." 

Any information on the identity or location of the driver, contact the PCSO at (863) 298-6200. Any information that may lead to an arrest of the suspect could be eligible for a cash reward of $10,000. Contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-0344 to be eligible for the reward. Deputies believe that the vehicle involved in the crash will have front-end damage.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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