Woo Hyun Kim, the alleged driver of a van that sped off after running over a teenager, managed to flee from the CNMI. The teenager later died.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Thomas Blas Jr. told Saipan Tribune Tuesday that, contrary to earlier police reports, Kim did not return to the CNMI after leaving the islands.
“There is still an active warrant of arrest for the driver,” Blas said.
He said the DPS Criminal Investigation Bureau has been communicating with Kim's lawyer about the case.
The DPS spokesman said there are two cases in the death of 19-year-old Jefferson Kiauol Keju: the criminal aspect and the traffic side.
Kim is on the traffic case, Blas said.
Last Jan. 16, police said they were hunting down Kim on charges of failure to exercise due care, accidents, failure to file an accident report, and homicide by vehicle.
At that time, police claimed that Kim left the island on Jan. 3, 2013, two days after the incident, but returned on Jan. 14, 2013.
Superior Court Associate Judge David Wiseman issued a warrant for the arrest of Kim and imposed a $100,000 cash bail.
Police said that, on Jan. 12, hikers discovered Kim's van-a silver/aluminum 2012 Toyota Sienna with license plate AED-281-abandoned in a secluded area near Obyan Beach.
Investigators noticed that the damage on the van was consistent with the accident. The van was towed to a secure area where crime scene technicians processed it for evidence.
Investigators said that the Toyota Sienna van was traveling north on the outer lane on the night of Jan. 1, 2013, when it struck Keju, dragging him about 50 feet. The van did not stop.
After the van sped away, a Toyota Hilux pickup truck later ran over the victim. The driver, 22-year-old Aniceto Ogumoro Jr., stopped and called police.
An ambulance brought the victim to the Commonwealth Health Center, where he was pronounced dead the following day, Jan. 2.
Shortly before Keju was hit by the two vehicles, two men chased the victim and assaulted him on the outerbound lane of Middle Road in front of LJ Market, leaving him lying unconscious in the middle of the highway.
Police later arrested Herman Fitial, 34, and Felix Kileleman Jr., 19, for allegedly assaulting the victim.