Suspect in fatal day care hit-and-run arrested



ORLANDO, Fla. - Robert Corchado, the man accused of causing a crash that resulted in the death of a 4-year-old girl at an Orlando day care, turned himself in to the Orange County Jail on Thursday, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers.

Lily Quintus died after a car crashed into the KinderCare on Goldenrod Road near University Boulevard on Wednesday.

Authorities said Corchado, 28, was driving a Dodge Durango that struck the car, causing it to crash through the wall of the KinderCare. Corchado then fled the scene, they said.

FHP said Corchado turned himself in to the Orange County Jail about 4 p.m. 

Troopers said he was charged with leaving the scene of a traffic crash involving death, and leaving the scene of a traffic crash involving serious bodily injury. His bond was set at $100,000. He will go before a judge Friday morning.

Slideshow: Suspect arrest| Scene images | SUV damage

Raw Video: Home video of Lily | Medics help injured children | 1 victim's mom talks to WFTV

News Conference: FHP announces arrest of Robert Corchado

A longtime friend of the suspect told Channel 9 Corchado's lawyer told him to turn himself in. The woman went on to say Corchado has children as young as the ones injured in Wednesday's crash.

Corchado's attorney confirmed via email that he had spoken to Corchado and was aware that Corchado had turned himself in.

Bail bondsman Juan Tomlinson told Channel 9 that Corchado contacted him early Thursday morning.

"He wanted to turn himself him and that he didn't want to run from whatever the accusations might have been," said Tomlinson.

Tomlinson said Corchado was sad and distraught by the accident.

FHP said Thursday Corchado is a member of the Latin Kings gang and that he may have been getting help from other gang members.

"They need to be careful of what they're doing, and they need to come forward and help us, because if not you're an accessory and if we find you're an accessory, we will prosecute you," said Maj. Cynthia Williams of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Officials also said numerous digital billboards went up in the area in an attempt to garner more tips, but Corchado turned himself in a short time later.

About a week ago, Corchado was ticketed for careless driving, Channel 9 learned. And WFTV investigative reporter Christopher Heath learned Corchado was involved in another hit-and-run in December that happened near another day care center.

Kathy Abbott said she heard Corchado smash into her daughter's parked car and then saw him flee the scene.

"Airbags had gone off," said Abbott. "He would have continued, but he couldn't continue driving at that point."

After side-swiping a car at the end of the street, Corchado's vehicle continued into a grassy area and came to rest under a light pole.

Witnesses said it wasn't until they opened his car door and smelled the marijuana that they realized he may have been under the influence at the time.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at that scene, they said Corchado was in possession of a large amount of cash and drugs.

Deputies charged Corchado with the hit-and-run and possession, but he was released from jail 24 hours later after posting $10,000 bond.

Corchado's criminal history dates back more than 10 years to when he was 19. He spent two years in prison on an extortion charge.

Records show he was then arrested in Orange County and spent three years behind bars after being convicted of trafficking in cocaine.

After that, he was arrested in the December hit-and-run and was out on bond when Wednesday's fatal hit-and-run happened.

On Friday FHP troopers said Corchado faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the current charges.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said with Corchado's past and the fact that someone died, the charges and the potential prison time could go up.

"This should be a very good case for the state to prosecute. I can't see that the state is going to enter into any kind of plea negotiation that's going to allow him to serve a sentence much less than the maximum," said Sheaffer.

Fifteen people, including 12 children, were injured in Wednesday's crash, investigators said.

Corchado's family, who he lives with, didn’t want to speak with WFTV.

"I suggest you get that camera out of my face," one of the family members told WFTV’s Renee Stoll when she knocked on the door.

The home where Corchado allegedly stashed the Durango is about a mile away from his home, but neighbors said that's where the car is usually parked.

Troopers said they have not yet found the car that Corchado rented Wednesday.

Channel 9 has multiple reporters covering this story. Follow them all on Twitter: @RHughesWFTV, @RStollWFTV, @TBarberWFTV, @JDealWFTV, @KBelichWFTV and @CHeathWFTV

Related Story: