FHP finds car, person of interest in hit-and-run crash that killed disabled man

Troopers search for driver involved in fatal accident

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol troopers say they have found the person of interest and the vehicle they believe was involved in a hit-and-run that killed a 65-year-old disabled man.

Troopers said someone reported on Monday a damaged Kia Spectra abandoned in an apartment complex near the accident site on US 441 and Carroll Street.

FHP is bringing the car, that has damages matching the crash, into the headquarters now and have tracked down the female registered owner, troopers said.

The pedestrian, identified by the FHP as 65-year-old Rafael Cotto, of Kissimmee, was found lying in the shoulder of Highway 441 early Sunday morning, troopers said.

Troopers said Cotto was walking southbound on US 441 on the west shoulder, out of the roadway when the vehicle struck him, throwing him further off the shoulder.

No arrests have been made in the crash.

Cotto's sister, Lisa Van Dam, told Local 6 her brother was disabled but walked in Kissimmee often. Van Dam described her brother as charming and charismatic, with a passion for music and guitar.

"They could have called 911. They could have had an ambulance there," said Van Dam, lamenting that the driver who hit her brother didn't stop.

She said the family is broken up, especially after having lost their mom in February.

"I just want them to understand how we feel and understand that the right thing to do is just say, 'I did this,'" she said.

The family is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

Troopers are asking anyone that may have information to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.