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Suspect named in fatal St. Pete hit-and-run


Published:   |   Updated: July 18, 2014 at 02:37 PM

St. Petersburg police on Friday named the suspect in a June hit-and-run that resulted in the death of an 81-year-old man.

Investigators were seeking Keith Hamm, 24, on charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an crash resulting in death.

Police said Hamm was driving a rented Nissan Altiman that collided with a Toyota Camry at 15th Avenue South and 25th Street on the night of June 4.

Tomas Melendez, a passenger in the Toyota, later died at a hospital. Also injured in the crash were Melendez’s wife, Anna, 62, who was driving the Camry, and their son, Daniel, 24, who was in the backseat, police said.

Witnesses told police the Nissan was northbound on 25th Street, and speeding in and out of traffic while approaching 15th Avenue before running a stop sign. The Nissan struck the right side of the Camry, which flipped and crashed into a chain-link fence.

Investigators said Hamm then ran from the scene northbound.

Hamm has prior arrests for carrying a concealed firearm and home invasion robbery, and was just released from prison in February, police said.

The Nissan was rented to 27-year-old St. Petersburg woman, but she was not in the car at the time of the crash, police said.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Hamm, who was described as black, 5 feet 11 inches tall and 303 pounds.

Anyone with information was asked to call police at (727) 893-7780 or text (727) 420-8911. A confidential tip can be sent to (727) 892-5000.

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