Chief Domenic J. DiMella
27 Hamilton Street
Saugus, MA 01906
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Saugus Police Seeking Information on 2011 Fatal Hit and Run
Kathleen O’Neil Killed Three Years Ago
SAUGUS — It has been more than three years since a hit and run driver on the Saugus Turnpike killed Kathleen M. O’Neil and fled the scene.
With no strong leads in a case that has gone cold, the Saugus Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance and asking anyone who may know anything about the crash that occurred early in the morning on June 19, 2011 to come forward.
“Someone knows what happened that day, and we need them to come forward,” said Saugus Police Lieutenant Ronald Giorgetti.
Lieutenant Giorgetti is now the department’s executive officer, and he was the lead investigator on the case in 2011.
Shortly before 1 a.m. on that day, police were called to the scene where four witnesses had seen a woman’s body in the median of Route 107 going northbound in Saugus.
O’Neil, who was from Lynn, would be celebrating her 45th birthday this month.
The police department’s only clue thus far, which may or may not be related, is a car crash 50 yards away that took place moments after the witnesses saw O’Neil’s body. A 1996 black Nissan Pathfinder struck a tree after turning over multiple times, however the witnesses at the scene said they were sure that the body was in the road before the crash occurred.
When the police arrived, they discovered that the occupants of the Nissan Pathfinder had fled. Witnesses described two short Hispanic males, one of them approximately 5 foot 3 inches and wearing blue jeans and a white polo striped shirt, removing the license plate from their car and exiting their vehicle after the crash.
After searching the woods, officers found one of the men, 100 yards from the crash. The man said he was a passenger in the vehicle and that he had fallen asleep and didn’t know what had caused the crash or who was driving. Later, he told a different story. He had spent the last few hours drinking at Lido nightclub, and had asked two of the bar’s regulars for a ride home to Lynn. After the passenger bought them a beer as a “thank you,” the men took off.
The man said that once the driver turned onto Route 107, the car was going too fast and started rolling over, and the next thing he knew he was being pulled from the car by strangers who told him to run or else be caught by the police. He states that the other occupants of the vehicle had already took off.
Saugus police officers questioned the registered owner of the vehicle, who stated that he had sold it to Baldemar Perez. Perez, who did not have a valid driver’s license, turned himself in later that day. However Perez and the passenger both maintained that they have nothing to do with O’Neil’s death, and there was not enough evidence to charge them.
The Saugus Police Department are urging anyone with information on the events of June 19, 2011, to come forward, so that O’Neil’s family can find some solace and that the case can be closed. Any tip, no matter how seemingly insignificant, may help. Please call 781-941-1199, or our anonymous tip line at 781-231-4037.