Suspect arrested months after fatal DTLA hit-and-run crash thanks to DNA evidence left at scene

The LAPD says they've identified their suspect in a fatal hit-and-run crash in downtown Los Angeles thanks to the Department of Justice's combined DNA index system.

The hit-and-run back in January claimed the life of 46-year-old Branden Finley, who was on his way to meet friends for a Saturday morning bike ride when he was struck.

"A suspect left some bloody clothing that had his DNA profile. Our forensic science division was able to obtain a DNA profile and submit to the Department of Justice. We had a DNA hit for a Ronald Earl Kenebrew Jr. and we had to go look for him," said LAPD Detective Juan Campos.

Fortunately, Campos added, they didn't have to look far. He was already in custody.

"That science is amazing, how they can identify a person at a scene for something they've done and disappeared. I'm elated this person is arrested. I wish I could have been there when he was arrested. Just let him see my face. The hurt in my face that we all have cause he took our child away from us," said Pamela Finley, the victim's mother.

Finley's family has been waiting for this day for over four months - a day they weren't sure would come.

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Authorities are searching for a suspected hit-and-run driver who left a bicyclist to die in the street in downtown Los Angeles after he had allegedly carjacked the vehicle from a newspaper delivery man just a short while before.



"He would bike ride every weekend with his friends. Kind, loving, giving person. Everyone who met him was just drawn to him. He had a contagious smile," said Finley.

The 36-year-old suspect of Lancaster has a long criminal record and is currently in the Men's Central Jail downtown after being arrested on robbery charges back in February. The suspect was driving a stolen vehicle at the time of the hit-and-run, crashed into other cars shortly after and then fled the scene on foot, leaving those bloody clothes behind.

"You cannot take someone else's life and just walk away and go on with your life like it never happened. You have impacted not only my family, (but) all of his friends, co-workers. We will never ever be the same," said Finley.

Back in January, one of Finley's two daughters asked investigators to find her dad's killer and the LAPD says thanks to an exact DNA match, they're confident they've done just that.

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