Exclusive photo: Police find abandoned car matching description of hit-and-run vehicle

A witness photo obtained by FOX31 shows police investigating an abandoned car on Sept. 26, 2012. The car matches the description of a vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run on Sept. 23, 2012.

A witness photo obtained by FOX31 shows police investigating an abandoned car on Sept. 26, 2012. The car matches the description of a vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run on Sept. 23, 2012.

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DENVER — Police towed a car Wednesday morning that matches the description of the vehicle they say was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident at the intersection of South Broadway and East Cedar Avenue on Sunday.

FOX31 Denver obtained an exclusive photo of police checking out the vehicle.

The Denver Police Department confirmed the discovery Wednesday afternoon. This was after witnesses said officers were seen investigating a vehicle that was abandoned along the railroad tracks behind All-Around Fabrication, a custom welding and fabrication business located at 1320 S. Lipan St.

Police say workers recognized the vehicle as being similar to the one described in news coverage of the hit-and-run. They alerted police to its location at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

FOX 31 Denver tracked down the workers who spotted the car.

Shawn Cisneros and James Doyle work at Caraustar. Doyle told FOX 31 Denver’s Deborah Takahara, “Oh it wasn’t here yesterday. I know that for a fact. It was not here yesterday. So it must’ve been brought in last night from what I can tell.”

Cisneros said, “Once I turned the corner, I pretty much knew it was the car because I heard the description on the news last night. I’m kinda glad we found it or at least some one found it at least it got found … hopefully closure to the family, hopefully somebody does get caught.”

The discovery brings little comfort to the boyfriend of the victim, at least at this point.

Nate Iler told FOX 31 Denver’s Deborah Takahara he was planning to propose to Laura McDermott soon.

He said, “She was just a beautiful person. You know she had a great heart. That’s what I loved about her so much. She was touching in everyone’s life she met. Every photo I have is her smiling or laughing. The news you gave me doesn’t help me today … I hope it helps those friends and family who want to see some justice, but I just want to continue to have her spirit touching other people’s lives. Like it touched mine and have people remember that. At the end of the day, it’s a tragedy, and I will want some justice to come from it, ultimately what she would want and what I feel I have learned is that enjoy the day and smile … touch people’s lives and smile the way she did.”

Nate said Laura was very passionate about the nonprofit group “Outdoor Mindset” that helps people with neurological disorders get out and enjoy the outdoors and stay active.” He would like people to support the charity in Laura’s honor. http://www.outdoormindset.org/

Denver police still haven’t identified the driver of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run, which was described by police in a press release as a silver or gray 4-door sedan — possibly a 1987-89 Toyota Corolla — missing a front passenger-side turn signal. Police said the vehicle would show significant damage to the front passenger side as a result of the collision.

Photos obtained by FOX31 show police examining a vehicle that matches that description, as well as images of the vehicle shown in surveillance camera footage released by police on Monday.

The footage shows the car heading south on Broadway at 60 to 65 mph just before hitting 32-year-old Laura McDermott at Cedar Avenue. McDermott died from her injuries.

“It happened so fast that it was a blur,” said Jeff Seay, who heard the impact of the crash as he left a bar early Sunday. He returned to Broadway and Cedar Tuesday to add flowers at a growing memorial for McDermott.

A new law went into effect in July that increased the penalty for drivers convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in Colorado. The crime is now a class 4 felony, which means anyone convicted in this case can get between two and eight years in prison.

Anyone with information about this hit-and- run is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (720)-913-7867. Anyone providing information can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

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