Cop’s relative heard a man say he hit, killed woman in Everett

An informant helped police find the suspect in Arlington, where they arrested him.

EVERETT — Police have arrested a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run from earlier this month.

On Sept. 8, Tracy A. Gjernes , 59, was crossing the street when she was struck by a red van in south Everett.

The death was classified as a homicide, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Witnesses said the driver fled after the crash, which took place in the 9700 block of 19th Avenue SE.

Police were able to find the suspect based on word of mouth. An officer with the Lake Stevens Police Department said a relative overheard a man talking about how he hit and killed a woman.

Then, on Sept. 24, an informant told police where the suspect might be, along with a woman associated with him, according to court papers made public Wednesday. He might have already replaced the van’s hood and windshield, the informant said.

A records check revealed that police have previously pulled over the man and woman while driving a red Dodge Caravan — most recently for a traffic stop on Sept. 6.

Police made their way to a 7-Eleven in Arlington, where they found the suspect and a woman, as well as a red van. The hood had a wet coat of paint and next to the vehicle were cans of spray paint.

The officer noted damage to the plastic between the hood and windshield. The SUV had a black cargo box on top, matching what was caught on videotape at the scene.

The woman said she was in the vehicle at the time of the incident. She described the victim, location, what lane they were in and how they took the first right turn they could after hitting the woman. Her description matched witness reports.

The suspect declined to speak with investigators and asked for a lawyer, according to the police report. He was arrested and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

He also is facing charges for possession of drug paraphernalia in an unrelated case.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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