Troopers find car involved in deadly hit-and-run

- The Florida Highway Patrol says they have found the car involved in a deadly hit-and-run accident.

Rusty Harris, of Palmetto, was found dead along Interstate 75 near Sun City Center on May 2. 

Troopers say the 38-year-old, who was a computer technician and a father of three, was struck and killed by a dark-colored Ford.

Initially, investigators thought the vehicle was a pickup or SUV, but they later updated it to a Taurus.

That vehicle was located at a Clearwater salvage yard on Monday.

"It appears that just days after the crash, the vehicle was sold and transferred over to a salvage yard," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins with Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers determined from car parts found at the scene of the crash that the vehicle was a black Ford Taurus. A vehicle matching that description, with extensive damage, was sold locally just two days after the fatal crash.

"That vehicle obviously has a lot of front-end damage and damage to the windshield, which indicates that it was involved in a crash," said Gaskins.

Troopers are still looking for the driver.

The car's VIN number has led investigators to a possible suspect; however, they are hoping someone can help them place the driver of the car to the scene of the crash.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the suspect in this case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact FHP by calling 813-631-4020 or Crime Stoppers at 800-873-8477 (TIPS) and www.crimestopperstb.com

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