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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Law Enforcement And The Community Are Recognized By Dedicated Parents With Thank You Billboards

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Press Release Date: September 18, 2014    || Archived February 4, 2016

Emilio Perez Investigation Underscores True Meaning of Community Policing

East Moline, IL – The Illinois State Police, Quad Cities Crime Stoppers and community residents are being publically thanked and appreciated by the family and friends of hit and run victim Emilio Perez.

Perez, 17, was fatally struck by a hit and run driver on March 8, 2014 on I-88 westbound near Joslin, Illinois when he ran out of gas and was last seen walking on the shoulder of the expressway.  The driver, Maria E. Romero, 41 of Rockford, was later arrested on September 2, 2014, and taken to Winnebago County Jail.  Romero was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving a Death (Class 4 Felony) and Failure to Report an Accident Causing a Death (Class 1 Felony).

The Perez family worked tirelessly with ISP investigators and Quad Cities Crime Stoppers to search for investigative leads and posted a reward of $10,000 through a Crime Stoppers billboard campaign.  Al and Lauren Perez were relentless in their pursuit of justice and worked around the clock to keep the case alive.  After receiving multiple leads from Crime Stoppers, a tip provided investigators with enough information to locate Romero.

“Trust and partnerships with the residents and communities we serve is central to the success of solving crimes,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.   “This case is an excellent example of how law enforcement and the community can stand shoulder to shoulder working together to keep communities safe.  We applaud the Perez family and appreciate their sincere recognition of law enforcement’s services,” Grau stressed.

Two Thank You billboards are posted on Illinois Route 5, approximately two miles west of I-80 in East Moline, and on River Drive in Moline, Illinois.

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