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CHP names prime suspect in death of KHSD police chief

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The California Highway Patrol said Friday that based on miscommunication, it erroneously reported that the hit-and-run death investigation of Kern High School District police chief Steven Alvidrez had been concluded.

The case is still in the CHP's hands.

Steven Alvidrez, 52, was killed on June 17, 2011, shortly before midnight when a hit-and-run driver slammed into the Harley-Davidson motorcycle he and his wife Ramona were driving. The crash happened on Highway 99 just south of Delano.

When Eyewitness News contacted the CHP on Thursday to inquire about the case, the CHP said the investigation had been submitted to the district attorney's office for review.

On Friday, CHP spokesman Vaughn Cain clarified that based on some miscommunication with supervisors in the department, it erroneously released that bit of information.

"They thought the case had been submitted," said Cain.

The CHP has been pursuing a slew of leads during its investigation. It's prime suspect appears to be David Lilly, of Bakersfield, said Cain.

"This person has to pay. He committed a crime, took my dad, took my hero away," said Steven Alvidrez Jr. on Thursday.

The family feels the forensic evidence being reviewed is strong, tying the suspect to the crash. Investigators matched paint from Alvidrez's Harley-Davidson to the suspect's car.

Harley-Davidson uses a specific chemical mixture in its paint.

"That's how they were able to find it so easy and kind of determine that specific paint was to that car," said Steven Alvidrez Jr.

Though the suspect in the case under review by the district attorney's office was not named, the CHP did issue search warrants on at least two different locations last year. One of those locations was in Bakersfield, and the target was Lilly.

Witnesses described a suspect vehicle as a gold Chevy Cavalier.

A probable-cause statement said there was solid evidence placing Lilly's gold 2000 Chevy Cavalier at the scene of the crash. Lilly also admitted to investigators that he was driving the Cavalier and was in fact involved in an accident that same night that Alvidrez was killed.

But, Lilly also said he was too drunk to remember any of the details of the crash.

Lilly's Cavalier that was recovered by investigators had front-end damage consistent with the collision, according to the court documents. And, witnesses told investigators the suspect vehicle had the numbers "5" and "11" in the license plate. Lilly's car has the numbers "5" and "1" on its license plate.

Steven Alvidrez Jr. said he still thinks about his father every day, and of the suspect who took his life.

"He's a coward," the son said. "He shouldn't of just got up and vanished. He knew what he was doing."

Deputy District Attorney Michael Yraceburn said his office is assisting CHP in the investigation.
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