Man arrested in connection to hit-and-run in Tulare County over 1 year later

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than a year has passed since Taryn Murrieta found her brother Timothy Shields dead in a Tulare County canal.

Shields had been missing for a couple of days. His girlfriend told authorities he was struck by a car while they were walking together near the canal that Saturday night.

"It's been a long road, a long year since that day of events that have happened," Murrieta said. "I just want it to go away. I just want justice."

According to a statement of probable cause by the California Highway Patrol, witnesses told investigators that 28-year-old Jose Rodriguez hit Shields with a Buick LeSabre that night.

They also told officers where to find the car -- at a home in Woodlake.

Using a search warrant, a CHP officer found the car there and noticed that the right mirror, headlight, and windshield had been replaced.

But there was still damage to the right fender, which officer found consistent with a crash.

Later, another CHP officer found Rodriguez during a traffic stop on the outskirts of Woodlake.

Using GPS records from Rodriguez's ankle monitor, officers were able to place him at the scene of the crash.

Last month, The Tulare County District Attorney's Office charged Rodriguez with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and on Wednesday, Rodriguez was booked into a Tulare County Jail.

"I just wish he would have come forth on his own and just admitted and just owned up to what he did," Murrieta said. "He knew it was wrong, and anybody else involved, if there is, I wish they would do the same because it's affected me and my family in the worst way."
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