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Search continues for fugitive five years later
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The search continues for the man who killed two people near Centertown five years ago, leaving them lying on the highway as he ran away after slamming his pickup into their motorcycle.
Five years ago tomorrow, Billy Lynn Bell, 42, and Samantha Roach, 42, were killed when they were struck head-on while riding Bell’s motorcycle near Centertown. The man who hit them, Harlin Alvarez, 21, ran from the scene and hasn’t been seen here since. There is now a $5,000 reward for his capture. The family wants him brought to justice.
“Here in a few days his first grandson will be born and no matter how excited we will all be, we will be equally saddened that he is not here in person to enjoy that moment with us,” said Bell’s now-adult daughter Attonda Bell.
According to the crash investigation five years ago, Roach and Bell, both of whom were wearing helmets, were westbound on Nashville Highway, taking Bell’s motorcycle for an oil change. It was at that point an eastbound pickup driven by Alvarez crossed the centerline and entered the westbound lane, striking the cycle head-on.
Both victims were ejected from the motorcycle and fatally injured. The Alvarez vehicle suffered heavy damage and came to rest in a field on the opposite side of the road. The suspect, who lawmen believe was coming here to work on a roofing job, then ran off on foot leaving his wrecked vehicle.
“Sept. 30 is a day we will never forget,” recalled Bell’s other daughter, Kayla Bell. “It is the day we lost one of the most valued men in our lives – our daddy.”
The survivors of both the Bell and Roach families believe bringing Alvarez to justice would help bring closure to the tragedy.
However, despite the reward there has been no word about the whereabouts of the fugitive who lawmen believe may have slipped south of the border with the help of friends and family. Henry Alvarez, the suspect’s brother, and William Perez Lucas, both entered guilty pleas to helping the fugitive get out of town. They were sentenced to two years in prison and deported back to Guatemala after they served their time. They were illegal aliens.
During sentencing, Alvarez’s brother claimed he didn’t know the whereabouts of the fugitive. The families of the two victims have a $260 million lawsuit pending against Alvarez if he’s ever caught.
Anyone having information concerning the whereabouts of Alvarez should contact the sheriff’s department or 911.