Police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run that killed a couple as they crossed Route 67 in Seymour earlier this month.
Investigators identified the suspect as 24-year-old Jair Irigoyen-Flores, of West Haven. He was arrested at his home around 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
Irigoyen-Flores is charged with two counts of misconduct with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility involving a death.
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He appeared in court Thursday morning and was ordered held on $1.5 million bond.
James and Barbara Tamborra, of Shelton, were crossing Route 67 around 6:30 p.m. on December 10 after attending a wake. They were hit by a dark-colored Acura MDX and the driver took off from the scene.
James Tamborra, 81, died shortly after being hit. His wife, Barbara, was in a coma for days and died on December 15.
Seymour police received an anonymous tip from someone Wednesday afternoon who identified Irigoyen-Flores as the driver of the SUV that hit the Tamborras, according to an arrest warrant.
The person also told police that Irigoyen-Flores had booked a ticket to Mexico and planned on leaving the country.
Police contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection and confirmed that Irigoyen-Flores had a one-way ticket to Mexico out of JFK on a flight at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, according to police.
"When the tip came in and when we received that information that he was looking to escape the country, as I said, our backs were literally against the wall on that," Police Chief Paul Satkowski said. "If we did not have enough to hold him, we couldn't hold him, so obviously we just kicked everything into high gear."
He said detectives worked with prosecutors state and federal authorities throughout the night to develop enough probable cause to arrest Irigoyen-Flores.
Investigators were able to make contact with Irigoyen-Flores' family members, who told them they were aware he had been driving the vehicle that hit the Tamborras and they had tried to convince him to turn himself in, according to the arrest warrant.
Police were also able to locate the black Acura MDX that is believed to have been the vehicle involved in the incident. The SUV belongs to a neighbor of Irigoyen-Flores, police said.
The neighbor told police she didn't notice any damage to the vehicle. Police inspected it and said the passenger side headlight appeared to be in better condition and cleaner than the driver side headlight, the warrant stated.
Kenneth Tamborra, the son of the victims, thanked Seymour police and several other law enforcement agencies that worked together to make the arrest. He also thanked the public.
"To every citizen in Connecticut, thank you," Tamborra said. "For every single citizen who posted and reposted on social media. For everybody who looked at an MDX when it drove by, for every person who had a tip, for everybody that had a conversation, shot a text, made a phone call to discuss it to keep it in the forefront, thank you."
Tamborra also addressed the person who anonymously made the tip to police that led to Irigoyen-Flores' arrest.
"To the person that made the tip, from my family to you, thank you," he said.
He said the arrest cannot take away the grief he and his family are feeling after the loss of his parents.
Catching this person will bring some closure, yet will still have a gaping hole, but at least this will help us to heal," Tamborra said.