Anonymous tip led to arrest in Biloxi hit-and-run, police say

Jose Luis Alvares-Rico
Jose Luis Alvares-Rico

An anonymous tip has ended a two-week search to identify the driver who struck a pedestrian and fled the scene, police said.

An anonymous tip to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers led to the arrest Friday of 46-year-old Jose Luis Alvares-Rico of Biloxi, Police Lt. Christopher De Back said.

Rico is accused in the July 1 hit-and-run on Reynoir Street, just north of Howard Avenue, that critically injured a 47-year-old woman.

The tipster gave information on the possible identity and location of the driver, De Back said.

Rico was going to work around 8 a.m. Friday when police picked him up on Bohn Street and took him in for questioning, De Back said.

Rico was not driving the black Toyota Tundra sought in the crime, he said. The pickup was found at a home in D’Iberville, but it’s location there had nothing to do with the crime, De Back said.

Investigators interviewed Rico and obtained an arrest warrant on a charge of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious injuries, he said.

“I would like to think that our news conference (Thursday) on the reward finally jogged someone’s memory,” De Back said.

Police and Crime Stoppers had announced a $5,000 reward Thursday for information leading to an arrest. A private donor helped Crime Stoppers make the reward possible.

The pickup has damages that appear to be consistent with what police would expect from a hit-and-run, he said.

The injured woman suffered a traumatic brain injury, an acquaintance told the Sun Herald.

Justice Court Judge Bruce Strong set Rico’s bond at $100,000.

De Back said he notified the victim’s family before releasing information on the arrest.

“The Biloxi Police Department, the family and Crime Stoppers want to thank the public and the media for their help in this case,” he said.

Rico was being taken to the Harrison County jail after booking at the police department.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews