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Single clue leads to arrest in hit-and-run that killed San Antonio bicyclist

July 29, 2018

A man faces second-degree felony charges for his suspected involvement in a hit-and-run last month that led to the death of a bicyclist.

Gabriel Morales, 31, is charged with failing to stop and render aid at the scene of a crash that killed Edward Ramos Martinez Jr., 46, according to the affidavit for Morales’ arrest warrant.

Around 4 a.m. on June 24, police officers responded to the site of a collision between a bicyclist and a motor vehicle in the 300 block of Frio City Road, the affidavit states. Martinez was struck from behind by the motor vehicle as he was riding his bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle left the scene without try to help Martinez, the affidavit continues.

Martinez was taken to the San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by EMS but died by 11 a.m., the affidavit says.

An officer from the Traffic Investigations Detail of the Homicide Unit went to the scene of the accident and found a gray driver’s side mirror that later research suggested was associated with a Nissan Sentra, the affidavit states. Another detective later received an anonymous phone tip saying that someone named “Gabriel Gonzales” had been involved in a crash with a bicyclist while driving a Nissan. The tipster also provided authorities with the name of Morales’ girlfriend and said that a Morales relative had hidden the car.

Morales’ girlfriend was interviewed by authorities several days later and she said that she’d seen damage on Morales’ gray Nissan Sentra the morning of the crash, according to the affidavit. When she asked him what had happened, the affidavit continues, he told her he’d hit a bicyclist.

At a location given to them by the girlfriend, authorities later found a gray Nissan Sentra which, when inspected following the acquisition of a warrant, was found to be missing the driver’s side mirror, the affidavit states. Later, it adds, Morales’ mother made a statement to the police in which she said that Morales had the Nissan Sentra the night of the crash and that she later observed damage to it.

Morales was taken into custody on July 28 on unrelated municipal court warrants, according to the affidavit, at which point he was questioned about the suspected hit-and-run. He admitted to having been in a crash the same day as the crash that killed Martinez, the affidavit adds, but said it had been with a truck; he later changed his statement, saying it had been with a van.

The results of a test comparing hair found in the seal of the Nissan Sentra’s front window with Martinez’ DNA are pending, the affidavit says.

Morales’ bail is set at $30,000, according to the county magistrate’s office.

Brian Contreras is a San Antonio Express-News staff writer. | brian.contreras@express-news.net | Twitter: @_B_Contreras_

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