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Tip led to arrest in double fatal hit-and-run motorcycle crash

Published On: Apr 25 2014 11:24:34 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 25 2014 08:41:30 PM CDT

When the hit-and-run driver left the scene of a crash with two motorcycles in Janesville on April 20, he left only a few clues. But investigators -- and an auto specialist -- worked to paint a picture of the suspect's vehicle. Dave Delozier reports.

JANESVILLE, Wis. -

The Rock County sheriff says a tip led to an arrest in a hit-and-run crash that killed two motorcyclists.

An Illinois man, Sambath Pal, 24, of Park City, was taken into custody in Park City, according to Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden. Pal is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.

Mitchell Vance, 24, and Devin Julius, 18, died after an SUV crossed the centerline and hit the lead motorcycle and the one behind it on Highway 14 in the town of Harmony Sunday night. Detectives asked the public for tips on a suspect vehicle.

Spoden said during a Friday news conference that a tip was received by dispatchers at 9:06 a.m. Thursday from someone who wanted to remain anonymous. The man said he saw a black 2004 Nissan Infiniti QX56 in Park City that matched the description of the SUV sought by detectives with damage matching what detectives were expecting to find on the SUV.

Park City police were watching the residence where the suspect vehicle was spotted. Pal had been identified as a suspect and police detained him as he left the residence, according to Spoden.

The SUV was taken to a crime lab in Milwaukee, according to Spoden.

Pal has connections with Janesville and Rock County, according to Spoden. He said they believe he was alone in the SUV when the crash occurred.

Pal was arrested on suspicion of two counts of hit-and-run causing death.

Spoden thanked local businesses that helped with the investigation, including a car dealership and an auto parts company that helped identify the suspect vehicle based on the parts left at the scene of the crash. A billboard company also displayed the suspect vehicle as detectives were searching for it.

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