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Fatal hit and run suspect nabbed in closet

Fatal hit and run suspect nabbed in closet

Jose Jesus Aguilar


POSTED January 14, 2013 5:26 p.m.

The man wanted for a hit and run in Turlock that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Delhi woman was found by police hiding in a closet on Sunday.

Turlock Police investigators had been searching for 19-year-old Jose Jesus Aguilar of Delhi since he was identified in late November as the man allegedly responsible for the crash that killed Taylor Vessel.

Vessel died Nov. 3 after the car she was riding in struck a tree and a home on Lander Avenue while attempting to elude a police officer.

Aguilar was apprehended Sunday night at a home in the 500 block of Angelus Street. According to the police report Aguilar tried to hide in a closet, but was located and taken into custody.

Witnesses to the Nov. 3 collision saw a man running from the scene seconds after the car crashed into the tree and then spun into the Lander Avenue home. Vessel was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators later released video surveillance from a store on Golden State Boulevard that was taken shortly before the crash that showed the suspect with the registered owner of the vehicle. The police department stated at the time that the registered owner of the vehicle was not cooperating with investigators, which was why they needed the public’s assistance in identifying the driver.

Aguilar’s arrest was made by the police department’s Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement unit. The CAGE unit had information Aguilar may have been hiding at the residence and the officers were able to gain entry into the home Sunday night.

No additional arrests were made at the Angelus residence.

Aguilar was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on a felony charge of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and a felony charge of hit and run causing permanent injury or death. He remains in custody in lieu of a $60,000 bail. He has a court appearance scheduled for Friday.

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