For weeks, police searched for a late-model black Mazda that witnesses saw hit a man outside a gas station and then run him over, killing him.
They took statements from people who saw what happened and reviewed closed-circuit television feeds. They released a still image they had captured of the car and driver to the news media, hoping the public would help find the killer.
On Thursday, Baltimore police announced that they had taken a suspect into custody. Jewel Onyen Jamie Lucas, 19, of the 2900 block of Woodland Ave. was arrested late Wednesday and charged with first- and second-degree murder and first- and second-degree assault.
Police said she was behind the wheel Nov. 17 when 35-year-old Delma Leroy Barnes was run over outside a Shell gas station at 5330 Frankford Ave. Barnes, taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, died a short time later of injuries to his head, face, torso and leg sustained in the attack.
Using witness statements and a video feed, police said they were able to produce the still photograph of the driver and car that looked to be a 2000 or 2001 black Mazda. Police sent out the photo and description to media outlets, and on Wednesday a witness called police identifying Lucas as the person in the photo.
Investigators soon found the car she is suspected of driving: a 2001 Mazda 626 LX with Maryland license plates. They also found damage on the car they believe came from striking Barnes, police said.
Police said Lucas did not know Barnes but that some sort of altercation occurred between the two at the gas station just before Lucas struck him, police Sgt. Anthony Smith said.
"There is no prior relation between the two," he said.
Police credited tips from the public and media attention with the arrest. Maryland court records show that Lucas was arrested on a second-degree assault charge on April 19 that was not prosecuted.
A preliminary hearing for Lucas on the murder charges is scheduled Jan. 8. Bail information was not available Thursday.
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