UPDATE: Sharing stories really does make a difference. A Daily Voice reader who saw a story shared in a Facebook group about the search for a hit-and-run vehicle that struck and killed a woman in Paramus provided the tip that led to the capture of the accused driver.
The tipster said he suspected the damaged Ford brought into an auto body shop in Congers was the same one mentioned in a Daily Voice story about the search for the fleeing driver who killed the 58-year-old woman as she walked along a local road early Thursday.
So he notified authorities.
Detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor's Fatal Accident Investigations Unit arrested 31-year-old plumber Michael Mascaro III of Emerson soon after.
Mascaro remained held in the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
Mascaro’s Ford hatchback struck the victim on Forest Avenue south of Soldier Hill Road near the Oradell border around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
The vehicle then sped south on Forest Avenue before turning right onto westbound Oradell Avenue, Musella said Saturday.
The victim was brought to Hackensack University Medical Center, where she died soon after, he said.
On Friday, Musella renewed calls for help from the public, prompting an update to the original story.
“Following a tip from a concerned citizen who saw a request for information on social media, an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Paramus Police Department led to the identification of [Mascaro] as the driver of the fleeing vehicle,” Musella said.
The tipster, who has law enforcement connections, said he'd seen the Daily Voice post about the search for the responsible driver posted in a Rockland/Orange Facebook group.
"Thank you for posing that," he told a Daily Voice editor Saturday night.
Mascaro is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash and hindering apprehension.
Mascaro and another man were arrested in 2013 when they went to Hillsdale police headquarters to report a burglary and were charged with breaking into a neighbor’s house. They were carrying heroin, hypodermic needles, a glass pipe and other items “consist with illegal drugs and drug use,” police said at the time.
SURVEILLANCE PHOTO: An Elmwood Park bank robber threatened to kill a teller three times before fleeing with cash Thursday morning, police confirmed. Guess how much he got?
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