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Family continues to seek closure in fatal January hit-and-run

(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 10:44 PM EDT
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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News

April 30, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It took three months and hundreds of hours of detective work, but an arrest was eventually made in a fatal Tallahassee hit and run.

"We knew it was a pedestrian crash," said lead investigator Cpl. Michael Cross Sr. with the Florida Highway Patrol. "We knew it was going to be substantial damage to the front of the vehicle."

While the arrest has brought some closure for the family, they say there's still more work to be done.

at roughly 9:30 p.m. on January 6 on North Monroe Street. 26-year-old Jeremiah Bruce was hit by a vehicle while walking in the roadway. He died from his injuries nine days later.

Moments after the collision, the suspects' vehicle was allegedly caught on camera after it pulled onto a nearby residential street. In the video released by FHP earlier this year, it shows the driver of a silver sedan get out and apparently survey damage to the front end, then yell an expletive before getting back in the car and reversing out of the frame.

It took three months for investigators to track the vehicle down.

"I was just about at the point where I was going to give up, thinking the vehicle was not from this area," said Cross.

It was then all the hard work paid off. After days of cold-calling auto repair ships in multiple counties, a business in Midway reported it had repaired the windshield on a vehicle that matched the description and had taken photos of the damage, said Cross.

This lead eventually led investigators to Tampa, where an arrest affidavit states Smith-Mosley admitted to driving it for further repairs. He denies any involvement but was arrested and charged.

"I called them personally and told the mother and father," Cross said of Bruce's parents.

"When Corporal Cross called me and told me, you know, they have a suspect, I was like 'Good.' That kind of, like, brought things closer to being closed so Jeremiah can rest easy," said Michael Bruce, Jeremiah's Father.

But the work is not done. The family is hoping anyone else who may have been involved will also be held accountable. On Thursday, Smith-Mosely entered a "not guilty" plea via online filing. His next court date is set for June.

Corporal Cross said it remains an open investigation. No one else has been charged at this time.

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