DALLAS - A hit-and-run suspect’s family members helped Dallas police track him down in Oklahoma, sources tell FOX 4.
Rachel Spelman was hit while crossing Cedar Springs Road early Saturday morning. Friends believe she was heading home after a night out.
Dallas police confirmed authorities arrested John Adrian Esparza, 28, at a hotel in Madill, Oklahoma overnight Monday and charged him with the hit-and-run death of Spelman.
The arrest affidavit says Esparza gave a videotaped confession where he says Spelman walked out in front of him and he was unable to avoid hitting her. He admitted he had been drinking Saturday at the Concrete Cowboy, not far away from where Spelman was hit. He said he took off because he was scared.
Acting on a DPD tip, an Oklahoma deputy located Esparza's vehicle. Video from SKY4 showed Esparza's black 2015 Honda Accord as it was towed into the Dallas Impound lot.
A police affidavit says two people Esparza was partying and staying with him in an Uptown Dallas hotel say he never returned to the hotel the night Spelman was killed. Later, he told the couple he'd had an accident. FOX 4 News has learned one of those people is Esparza's sister.
The document says they saw news reports of the crash and called police believing Esparza was the hit-and-run driver and told authorities he went to Oklahoma.
Sources say both Esparza and his girlfriend in Oklahoma were taken in for questioning and both confessed to their involvement in the incident.
Police say Esparza was alone in the car at the time of the incident, but sources say the girlfriend is believed to have helped with the cover-up.
According to sources, the two cleaned the car and hiring a mobile windshield company in Dallas to change out the windshield before driving to Oklahoma.
"Will the girlfriend be charged with anything?” Reporter James Rose asked police during a Tuesday press conference.
"We're still looking at that,” said Dallas Police Lt. Robert Arrendondo. “I don't want to make a statement on that at this time, but it is a possibility."
"As we are grieving for our daughter, the pain is unbearable,” said Tom Spelman, the victim’s father. “On behalf of my wife and daughter, I want to thank the Dallas Police Department, government officials and concerned citizens everywhere."
Tom says his daughter was a woman of faith and is grateful those who immediately helped her.
"Some prayed with her before first responders arrived,” he said. “That means the world to us."
Police say they are not looking for any other vehicles in relation to this incident.
Esparza's criminal record includes a DWI and drug possession. He had just gotten his license back in December.
Esparza will be held the Marshall County Jail in Oklahoma until he can be extradited to Dallas, where he will face a charge of accident involving death.
There is a memorial service planned for Spelman in Lakeway, Texas, on Saturday.