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Police ID suspect in hit-and-run

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police are looking for a man believed to be responsible for a Dec. 20 hit-and-run that caused the death of a Lawrenceville teenager.

A hit-and-run arrest warrant has been issued for Edgar Pena-Fernandez, 24, of Lawrenceville, who police believe is on the run.

"He hasn't been seen or heard (from) since the collision. ... He suddenly left his house and life and fled the area," said Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney.

If Pena-Fernandez is found, he will be held without bond, according to the arrest warrant.

The incident, which claimed the life of 17-year-old Jacob Paoletta, occurred about 9:15 that evening on Buford Drive near Wildcat Drive in Lawrenceville.

Paoletta and 17-year-old Walter Lester of Suwanee were on a bicycle when they were struck, with Paoletta riding on the rear pegs and Lester seated and peddling.

Paoletta was pronounced dead at the scene, but Lester, although injured, survived the incident.

Moloney said the night of the incident that he was uncertain whether the teens were crossing Buford Drive or simply riding either on the roadway or alongside it.

Pena-Fernandez was listed as the owner of an abandoned green 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse found damaged in a nearby neighborhood.

Moloney said in a previous report that the damage, including damage to the hood, the side panel and the passenger's windshield, indicated it was in some sort of accident.

Initially, he was only wanted for questioning, with no pending charges, but that has changed.

Anyone with information about Pena-Fernandez's whereabouts is asked to call the Gwinnett County Police Department.