Peoria man arrested for fatal October hit-and-run

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — A 20-year-old Peoria man has been arrested for a fatal hit-and-run back in October.

The Peoria Police Department arrested Junior A. Betancourt-Barrera on Wednesday evening for leaving the scene of an accident involving death and was later charged for the accident.

Police said a Crime Stoppers tip was received by the PPD indicating the possible location of the suspect vehicle. Officers responded to the location provided in the tip and located a vehicle concealed underneath a tarp. The vehicle was a Gray Ford Escape and had substantial damage to the hood and windshield.

The evidence police gathered lead to Betancourt-Barrera’s identification and arrest. He is being held at the Peoria County Jail.

The crash occurred near the intersection of S Western Ave and W Millman St on Oct. 19, 2019. It was reported the suspect fled the scene and was last seen traveling northbound on Western from Millman.

Police initially said they believed the victim, 37-year-old Peoria woman Renee D. Nichols, was struck by a green or grey SUV.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said Nichols likely died instantly and autopsy findings showed she suffered multiple blunt force injuries consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle.

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