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CHP SEEKING VEHICLE IN HIT-AND-RUN.

Byline: Greg Botonis Staff Writer

LANCASTER - Investigators searching for a hit-and-run motorist who killed a young Littlerock woman have asked thousands of Antelope Valley owners of pickups and SUVs to bring their vehicles in to be checked for damage.

The letters went out to more than 2,900 owners of 1994 through 1997 GMC and Chevrolet pickups and SUVs. Vehicle parts left at the crash scene indicate this was the kind of vehicle that hit Jannet Lynn Hair.

``This is just one of our attempts to get this resolved,'' said Lt. Andria Witmer. ``But so far we've had a tremendous response.''

The letters ask owners to bring their vehicles to the California Highway Patrol station in Lancaster to have them inspected for front-end damage, thus whittling down the list of potential suspects.

Nearly one-third had been cleared by last week, officials said.

``Right after the letters went out, the phone started ringing off the hook,'' Witmer said. ``People have really been supportive and really understood why we're doing this.''

Hair, an Antelope Valley College student, was hit on Avenue O near 155th Street East Nov. 30 after stopping to rescue a stray cat.

Officials said Hair was on her way home from studying at a friend's house when she stopped her SUV and got out to pick up the cat. A passing vehicle struck Hair and knocked her beneath her SUV. The motorist kept going. Hair and the cat were both found dead when rescue crews arrived.

Hair's family held a press conference in front of the CHP station a week later begging for anyone with information to come forward, but little useful information has turned up, investigators said.

CHP investigators hope people responding to the letter will reduce the list of registered owners of GMC and Chevrolet pickups and SUVs in the Antelope Valley. They will then make personal inspections on the remainder.

The CHP doesn't have enough staff to visit the work or home of every vehicle owner looking for the damaged truck, officials said.

``That would take one of our officers off the road and we can't have that,'' Witmer said. ``If they come to the station, we have officers assigned here who can inspect the vehicle.''

The inspection only takes a few minutes, with investigators looking for damage or obvious signs of recent repair.

In some cases, however, inspection by Lancaster CHP officers is not an option. One woman called after receiving the letter to say that she would not be able to bring in the vehicle because her son had it in Colorado. CHP officials were hoping to get local authorities in Colorado to conduct the inspection.

So far, there has been no determination made as to when investigators will begin making personal visits to the homes and workplaces of registered owners who do not respond to the letter.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Lancaster CHP station at (661) 948-8541.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 31, 2004
Words:491
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