Police: hit-and-run suspect still at large

Posted at 10:59 AM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 12:59:55-04

Boise Police say a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run is still at large, though detectives have identified her and hope to locate her soon out of state.

The hit-and-run resulted in the death of a 28-year-old Boise man.   

Around 4:00 a.m. on May 15th, Boise Police were called to a hotel on the 2600 block of S. Vista Avenue, after witnesses said a car occupied by a woman driver and two passengers struck a man in the parking lot, then drove off. 

Officers said the victim and the those in the car knew one another and had had a prior disagreement.

Witnesses said the driver and passengers ran out of the hotel to the car -- while the victim chased them and pounded on the car windows. The driver then reportedly hit the man with the car and ran over him.
The victim, Pascal Baredetse, 28, died from his injuries later that day.

Boise Police detectives identified the occupants of the car and learned they were either unaware or unsure of the victim’s death, according to a Boise Police news release. They later fled the state. 

Detectives spent months investigating the case, collecting evidence, conducting over a dozen interviews, and working to track down a suspect.

Detectives said they interviewed everyone in the car -- including the driver -- by phone, and traveled to California in July as part of their investigation. 

However, they were unable to find and arrest the suspect, later identified as La Porsha Merritt, in California. 

There is a $500,000 warrant for Merritt’s arrest on a charge of voluntary manslaughter.  The warrant is active nationwide.

“Our officers have been working closely with the victim’s family and have gone great lengths to build a strong a case,” said Sgt. Justin Kendall. “We remain committed to finding the suspect and seeing that justice is served.”

The case has also been sent to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office for possible charges, the news release said.