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please help find this man

Posted by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 5:12 PM
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Luis Gonzalez Luis Gonzalez

Daughter's Final Words To Mom: "I Love You More!"

Overview
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Tia and her Mom during happier times. Tia's Mom wants Gonzalez to pay for his crime.

Deb Poklemba will never forget the last words her 25-year-old daughter, Tia, said to her just days before she died.

They had talked on the phone like they had done so many times. Just prior to wrapping up their conversation, Deb said, "I love you."

"I love you more!" Tia said.

A tearful Deb reflects on her middle daughter.  She calls her "my wild child." Tia was young, pretty, outgoing and a free-spirit. She worked as a waitress to make ends meet, but loved the beach and loved to surf.

Tia lived in the Fort Myers, Fla. area, where sun and fun was all around her. Deb said her daughter was kind, and surrounded herself with a nice group of friends.

But on August 8, 2008, Deb's life was shattered when Lee County Officers came into her workplace to give her the awful news: they told her Tia was dead.

"It was the worst day of my life," said Deb.  Nothing prepared her for this moment, and she said she couldn't think straight. It was surreal, she said.

In 2000, Deb lost her husband after an illness. "I knew my husband would die, but not my daughter.  She was so young," Deb said.

Tia's death has been a source of ongoing grief for Deb and her two other daughters.

He believes that Tia went to the Best Western Tiki Bar in Bonita Springs with a friend, where Luis Gonzalez was seen on surveillance video, drinking.

Piecing Together The Crime

Overview
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Luis Gonzalez is wanted by police for Leaving The Scene Of A Fatality in Florida.

Lee County detective Mike Carr was assigned with the task of piecing together the case.

It began with a report of a young woman lying on a rural road in Fort Myers, Fla. The call came in from a newspaper delivery man at 2:37 a.m. on August 8, 2008.

The woman was still breathing when she was discovered, according to police, though she died shortly paramedics arrived.

Detectives found the victim's belongings on the ground, including her cell phone, a pocket knife and her purse. They identified her as Tia Poklemba.

Quickly, Det. Carr and his team concluded that she had been run over, based on tire track marks and other evidence at the scene.  Through interviews and witnesses, Det. Carr put together what might have happened that night.

He believes that Tia went to the Best Western Tiki Bar in Bonita Springs with a friend, where Luis Gonzalez was seen on surveillance video, drinking.

According to Det. Carr, Tia and Gonzales had a mutual friend, and Tia needed a ride back to her friend's house in Fort Myers.

Gonzalez said he was going that way, so she hopped into his tan 2005 Cadillac.

Analyzing surveillance video from local businesses, Det. Carr tracked Gonzalez to a convenience store, where he parked briefly before leaving.

No one got out of the Cadillac.

Det. Carr believes this is where things got rough, and Gonzalez and Tia struggled in the car.  What is believed to have happened next is unfathomable.

Young Woman Left For Dead

Whether it was an unwanted sexual advance or something else, police are not sure. Det. Carr believes Gonzalez drove a short distance to a rural road where the two fought. Tia carried a pocket knife, which was found open on the ground near her body.

Det. Carr believes Tia got out of his car and began running. 

Then, he says, Gonzalez rammed into her, knocking her down. Worse yet, Det. Carr says evidence points to the fact that Gonzalez then put his car in reverse and backed up over her -- leaving Tia for dead.

She lay there on the road, fighting for her life, when hours later, a newspaper delivery man found her and called 9-1-1.

Meanwhile, police say Gonzalez left the scene and drove to a McDonald's about a mile away. The reason he was out that night was that his pregnant girlfriend asked him to get her a late-night snack at McDonald's. 

Det. Carr says to cover his tracks, he picked up his girlfriend's food after having drinks at the Tiki Bar and the fatal incident with Tia.

After being gone for two hours, Gonzalez' girlfriend wondered what happened to him, so at 1 a.m. she went out looking for him. She found him leaving the McDonald's with her food, but something didn't seem right.

Six days later, Gonzalez' girlfriend saw the Cadillac and a photo of Tia on the local news, so she confronted her boyfriend. He gave her a story, and the next day, he left for Mexico.

Before leaving, Gonzalez called his boss and told him that he was at the bar with Tia, but dropped her off at a nearby 7-11.

The supervisor called police leading Det. Carr to naming a suspect.  By then, Gonzalez was long gone, but he had left behind his vehicle, full of evidence.

After a search warrant was obtained and cops conducted a further investigation, police filed for an arrest warrant for Gonzalez, charging him with Leaving The Scene Of A Crash Involving A Death.

Police have tracked him to Mexico, and believe he is hiding out in the town of Leon, Guanajuato.

For Tia's mom, Deb, all she wants is Gonzalez in custody.  Nothing can bring back her daughter, but the closure is very important to her family.

"He shouldn't be allowed to have his freedom after what he did to my daughter," she said.


Wanted For

Information valid as of last update.

  • Leaving The Scene Of A Crash With A Fatality , Bonita Springs , FL ; Aug 08, 2008


by on Oct. 29, 2009 at 5:12 PM
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