Investigators tracked hit-and-run vehicle with traffic cameras

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Anchorage (KTUU) — UPDATE: Monday, 10:20 p.m.
Charging documents made available at the arraignment for 71-year-old Ruti Malietufa say investigators used witness and traffic cameras to track down Malietufa after he allegedly fatally struck a pedestrian and drove away from the scene near 3rd Avenue and Orca Saturday evening.

Police tracked the vehicle to a nearby Brown Jug liquor store and obtained video from the business.

Hours after obtaining the video, the manager of the store called police to say she was with the driver of the Ford Explorer, and that he was willing to turn himself in. Officers responded and took Malietufa into custody.

He told police that he was going east on 3rd Avenue when he struck something, and doubled back because "he didn't see what it was." Malietufa told police that he saw a woman there, and that she told him she was alright. He claims he doubled checked with her, and after she repeated that she was fine, he drove to Brown Jug, where his wife works.

He later drove the orange Ford Explorer to his workplace and asked for his wife to pick him up.

Police impounded the vehicle and found damage to the front headlight matching debris found at the scene.

UPDATE: Sunday, 10:20 a.m.
Police have arrested 71-year-old Ruti Malietufa in connection with Saturday’s fatal hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian. Police said Sunday morning that Malietufa was arrested and remanded at the Anchorage Jail on the felony charge of Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Failure to Render Aid.

A release from the police department noted the victim's identity will be released pending next-of-kin procedures.

Anchorage police have identified the vehicle they say may have been involved in a fatal downtown hit-and-run Saturday evening.

Police say the vehicle is a yellow 2002-2005 Ford Explorer with a business logo on the front doors and on the rear window.

"The vehicle also has a black roof rack without cross bars. The right headlight is inoperative but the parking lamp is still functional," wrote APD. "The suspect vehicle should have some front damage to some degree. The last digit of the license plate is the number 4."

Police say there is no information to release about the suspected driver of the vehicle, they ask for any witnesses to call the non-emergency line at 311.

Anchorage Police Department have reopened 3rd Ave. near Orca St. after it was closed to a fatal downtown hit-and-run Saturday evening.

Anchorage police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian near 3rd Ave. and Orca St. in Anchorage.

At around 5:30 Saturday, officers were dispatched to the area of E. 3rd Ave. and Orca St. following a call about a woman's body in the road.

According to Nixle from APD, "the preliminary investigation has found that the adult female victim was a pedestrian when a vehicle struck the victim and fled the scene."

Police say that both the suspect vehicle and suspect driver are unknown at this time.

APD is currently seeking witnesses and surveillance footage of the area.

They ask that if you have any information about the case to please call non-emergency Dispatch at 3-1-1 (Option #1).

3rd Ave. and Orca St. will remain closed while the area is being processed.

This is a developing story. Please check back for details.