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Police Solved Hit-and-Run Crime With Help From A Reddit User

Internet message boards aren’t always a positive environment. They usually have too many bullies and trolls. But that was before Reddit users helped put clues together to find the suspect behind a fatal hit-and-run car accident. All it took was one important piece of evidence for everyone to solve the crime.

A Fatal Hit-And-Run

In early August, Susan Rainwater was riding her bike when she was struck and killed by a car in Eatonville, Washington. The 63-year-old mother and grandmother was pedaling on a road near her home like she always does. Just before 9:30 AM, a car veered off the road, hit Rainwater, and drove off, leaving her to die.

Looking For Clues

Rainwater’s body was found hours later by a neighbor, who immediately called the police for help. Rainwater’s family pleaded for the driver to come forward, but it wasn’t that easy. Police began looking for clues in the fields along the road, and they eventually found a small piece of the car. A patrol for the Washington State Police shared a photo of the car piece on Twitter, which then found its way on Reddit.

Car Experts At Work

There are many car experts on Reddit. Once they saw the photo, Reddit users went right to work to identify the make and model of the car. Hundreds of comments began pouring in, offering their thoughts. Users worked together, but it was eventually a retired vehicle inspector who determined the car piece was from a mid-1980s Chevy truck.

One Clue Leads To Another

The Reddit user was probably right about his inspection. Days later, the Washington State Police received an anonymous tip about a 1986 Chevrolet K-10 pickup truck that had noticeable damage to its front headlight. Police easily identified the suspect as 37-year-old Jeremy Simon, who confessed to hitting Rainwater, as well as possessing illegal drugs.

Social Media Can Be Good

It turns out message boards can be good… sometimes. A similar case occurred in January 2018, when Reddit users helped identify a car piece that belonged to a red 2007-2009 Toyota Camry LE. Police then arrested a suspect who also hit a cyclist in Tampa, Florida.

Who knew Redditors could solve crimes?

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