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EVANSVILLE, Ind. — An Evansville teenager has been charged with murder after he allegedly ran a woman over during a car theft Sunday night.

Mateo Rodriguez, 16, is charged with murder, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, auto theft, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and operating a vehicle without a license.

On Tuesday, the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office publicly identified the victim as 33-year-old Megan Schaefer.

A preliminary autopsy examination determined Schaefer died due to blunt force trauma.

Despite being a juvenile, Rodriguez was booked into the Vanderburgh County jail because he is charged with murder.

According to an Evansville Police Department news release, officers were sent to the area of Franklin Street and Weinbach Avenue in reference to a hit-and-run wreck around 9 p.m. Sunday night.

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Officers determined the hit-and-run occurred in the parking lot of a Conoco gas station, 1921 E. Franklin St. Police found Schaefer severely injured. She later died in a local hospital.

According to the news release, investigators said surveillance footage from the gas station appeared to show Rodriguez and another male “hanging out” in the gas station’s parking lot prior to the hit and run.

The video showed a white Honda Civic pull into the parking lot. While its driver was inside the Conoco gas station, Rodriguez entered the Honda Civic through the driver’s side door and stole it, police said. It’s currently unclear if the Civic’s owner left the car running while they were inside the store.

Rodriguez put the Civic in reverse and backed into another vehicle. Police said a person in the other car, Schaefer, got out and stood in front of the stolen Honda Civic, at which point Rodriguez drove forward, hitting her.

“The victim fell underneath the vehicle and was run over while Rodriguez drove away,” police said.

An Evansville Police Department detective reportedly recognized Rodriguez from the surveillance video, and officers and detectives were able to locate Rodriguez at home with his mother. He was taken to EPD headquarters for questioning.

Clothing found inside Rodriguez’s home matched clothing worn by the person in the surveillance footage, police said.

The Honda Civic that Rodriguez is accused of stealing has not been recovered, police said.

Houston Harwood can be contacted at [email protected] with story ideas and questions. Twitter: @houston_whh | Instagram: @harwoodhouston

This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Police: Evansville teen charged with murder in auto theft, hit-and-run



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