SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The suspect in the hit-and-run crash that killed three teens on Halloween was driving on a suspended license and had his two children in the vehicle at the time of the crash, officials said Monday.
The suspect, 31-year-old Jaquinn Ramone Bell, was located at a motel in Stanton and arrested on Sunday, Santa Ana police said at a news conference. Two other adults were taken into custody but released pending further investigation.
Police say the suspect's two children, ages 14 and 17, were taken into protective custody. They have since been released to their guardians.
"I don't understand how somebody would want to put their children through anything like that. You know, you teach them, what?" said Brenda Gonzalez, the sister of victim Andrea Gonzalez.
Twins Lexi Perez Huerta and Lexandra Perez Huerta and their family friend Andrea Gonzalez were fatally struck by a black 2001 Honda CRV while trick-or-treating in the 1400 block of East Fairhaven Avenue at about 6:45 p.m. on Friday.
An eyewitness later led police to the abandoned car at a parking lot about 800 yards away from the crash site. Investigators collected evidence from the SUV, including fingerprints and DNA samples, Santa Ana police spokesman Anthony Bertagna said.
Investigators say they received numerous tips from witnesses and worked around the clock in order to find the suspect. Their investigation led them to a Motel 6 on Western and Katella avenues, where they conducted a surveillance and eventually arrested Bell.
Bell was booked for felony hit-and-run and felony causing death. The case is being reviewed by the Orange County District Attorney's Office and the investigation is ongoing.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Bell's license was suspended for excessive alcohol on Oct. 4. Records also show that it was suspended or revoked on Aug. 4.
Meantime, the victims' families are asking for donations to help give the three teens a proper funeral. A Facebook fundraiser and Go-Fund-Me page has been set up to help the Huerta family with funeral costs.
Jim D'Agostino, the principal of Santiago Charter Middle School, has set up a Go-Fund-Me page to raise money for the Gonzalez family.
Santa Ana hit-and-run suspect had his 2 kids in SUV at time of crash
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