Ten years after a 'John Doe' was hit and killed by a hit-and-run driver, police have found out his identity.
On August 10, 2001, a male pedestrian was crossing the street at 15th Ave and McDowell Road when he was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene. That vehicle and its driver was never located.
The man died from his injuries, and could not be identified. He was not carrying an ID, and a check of his fingerprints showed no local record. However, he had several distinctive tattoos.
The 'John Doe' was buried near the White Tanks Mountains.
"The answer was there and waiting to be found," says DPS Detective Steve Leon.
Recently, officers from the Missing/Unidentified Task Force, made up of Phoenix Police, DPS, and the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office, gathered to discuss the large number of open cases in the county.
"It is kind of an advantage for a detective that picks it up because you get a fresh set of eyes on it and you kind of rework, if you will, and sometimes you catch things that were missed or just weren't done," says Leon.
Leon took another look at the victim's fingerprints, and through today's advanced technology, the detective got a hit.
The victim has been identified as Leonard Louis Glaza, who was 49 when he died. Glaza was a military veteran who grew up in Michigan.
"I notified the detective at Phoenix Police and he was ecstatic. And it was a great day for the Phoenix Police and for the family," says Leon. "The family assumes that they are out there somewhere and then to find out that this is the case brings closure. It is difficult, but it is good to have that closure."
The person who hit Glaza has still not been found. That part of the case is still under investigation.