FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man arrested in connection for a fatal hit-and-run allegedly made no attempt to report the incident and cut up the hood of his car in an attempt to destroy evidence.
On Aug. 25, Keilan Moreira was killed after she was struck by a vehicle along East State Boulevard.
According to a probable cause affidavit, on Aug. 25, witnesses who were with Moreira were crossing East State Boulevard and thought she made it, but then heard a thud. One of the witnesses looked back and saw Moreira on the hood and the SUV hit the brakes. The same witness alleges Moreira fell off the hood, then the driver continued forward, running her over.
According to court documents, police located cameras on three nearby buildings – the Marathon gas station at Crescent Corners, a 3 Rivers Credit Union, and an unnamed third venue – that helped with the investigation. Each set of cameras was used to determine that the vehicle involved in the fatal crash was a dark-colored Ford Explorer SUV, and that the suspect was a white male.
While conducting a follow-up investigation for a separate case, police were notified that the person involved in the fatal hit-and-run was Samuel Lovellette, 52.
A confidential informant also advised police that the vehicle involved in the incident, a 2002 gold Ford Explorer, was parked in the 1900 block of Fox Point Trail. This same informant notified police that the hood had been replaced since the time of the accident.
Police then responded to that area and located the vehicle. According to court documents, police noticed the Explorer had damage consistent with the accident. However, the damage to the top of the driver’s fender from a previous crash did not match the hood, which was not damaged. Police also noticed the color of the hood was not the same compared to the time of the accident.
Police then took the Explorer in so it could be processed for evidence.
According to court documents, the same confidential informant also provided a hotel that Lovellette was registered in. Undercover units stayed at this location, and after some time Lovellette was taken into custody without incident.
As he was being taken into custody, Lovellette allegedly uttered statements about striking Moreira, saying, “I left the scene, I just freaked out,” and “I didn’t know what to do.”
While in custody, Lovellette allegedly told police on the night of the fatal hit-and-run, he did not know what he had hit because he did not see anything in front of him. He alleged that he looked behind him and then realized he hit a person.
Lovellette also allegedly confessed that he got a new hood from a salvage yard for his Ford Explorer. He allegedly cut up the previous hood and threw it away.
Read the full probable cause affidavit below:
Lovellette was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident which Resulted in Death (Level 4 felony) and Obstruction of Justice (level 6 felony). His hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday.