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Police seek driver who dragged body at drive-through

Published: Sun, November 30, 2008 @ 12:09 a.m.

The car fled the South Side McDonald’s, and police found the body blocks away.


YOUNGSTOWN — City police are asking for the public’s help in locating a driver who dragged a body under his car through a fast-food drive-through and over two city blocks early Saturday morning.

Capt. Kenneth Centorame, chief of detectives, said police received a 911 call around 1 a.m. Saturday from a person in the drive-through at McDonald’s at South Avenue and Midlothian Boulevard, who told the dispatcher there was a body under the car in front of him.

By the time police arrived, the car had fled, but the body was found in the westbound lane of Midlothian near Euclid Boulevard, two blocks west of the McDonald’s.

Centorame said police went to the McDonald’s and talked to some people who remained there, as well as to an employee, who said the driver had placed an order through the intercom, and as he waited for his food, the person in a car behind his noticed the body underneath the car. When the person went to the driver and informed him, the driver got out of his car, looked underneath, then drove away without paying or getting food.

Centorame said Youngstown police need the public’s help, and he urged residents to get involved for the sake of the victim’s family. A number of people at McDonald’s at the time left while witnesses were interviewed, and police are hoping they’ll come forward and offer details so they can piece together what happened, he said.

They’re looking for a fire-engine red Chevy Cavalier or Cobalt, driven by a white male in his 20s with short brown hair, the captain said.

“It’s urgent that we find that car,” he said. “We really need the public to get involved, if anyone has any information” on the car, the driver, the victim or the crime scene.

Centorame explained that the body suffered quite a bit of damage, so police couldn’t determine initially the full extent of the victim’s injuries. “The pathologist in Cleveland will have to determine that,” he said, adding, “We should know this week” whether any gunshots were involved.

Police did find identification on the body, “but we confirmed it’s not that person, because we found the person whose ID it was. We really need to ID [this victim] for the family,” Centorame said. “We may have that some time in the future from the coroner, and will release the name then.”

“But we need to find who was driving the red car and any witnesses at McDonald’s around 1 or 1:30” Saturday morning, Centorame said. “We really don’t know where the initial crime scene was. So we really need the public to remain vigilant in looking for [the driver].”

He noted that police are treating the death as a homicide but that it could end up being a traffic fatality.

The manager at McDonald’s had nothing further to add on the matter Saturday, saying corporate policy prohibits employees from commenting on such incidents.

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