http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/n ... 2957.story
FORT LAUDERDALE - Nearly a week after a hit-and-run driver killed two British businessmen, police said it could be months before an arrest is made, even though investigators have the white Porsche they say was to blame and know who owns it.
Police this afternoon released the owner's name, identifying him as Ryan M. Levin, 34, of Fort Lauderdale.
Police say it's too early in the investigation to call anyone a suspect or say what charges they are pursuing.
"They're very complex investigations," police spokesman Sgt. Frank Sousa said of hit-and-run cases. "They can take anywhere from six months to a year."
More complicated still are instances where investigators have trouble proving who was driving. Such may be the case in the accident early last Friday on State Road A1A that left Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48, dead — considering the Porsche's driver abandoned the car less than an hour later.
"You need to place the individual behind the wheel of the vehicle; ownership is not enough," said Ken Padowitz, a former Broward County Click here for restaurant inspection reports homicide prosecutor who is now a defense attorney. "Having the vehicle is a good first step, but [authorities] need to have enough evidence to place a person behind the wheel beyond a reasonable doubt."
That's where piecing physical evidence together comes in — lifting fingerprints from the vehicle, checking cell phone records and inspecting the car to see if there are signs that it had been broken into and stolen.
Elford and Watkinson, both family men who lived a couple of hours north of London, were in Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. for a business conference. Their relatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but others who knew the men told British newpapers that Elford recently celebrated the birth of his second daughter and that Watkinson was a father of three. Both men worked in the pharmaceutical industry.
Watkinson's mother, Emily Watkinson, 74, spoke to the Miami Herald on Wednesday. "We're too old to get over anything like this," she said. "We'll never get over it. They've taken our son's life."
They were walking south on the sidewalk in the 400 block of Seabreeze Boulevard at about 2:30 a.m., approaching the Courtyard Marriott hotel, when the Porsche jumped the curb and struck them from behind, killing them instantly.
The British Consulate in Miami is assisting the victims' families and monitoring the case, said spokeswoman Annette Hugues.
Witnesses called 911 moments before the men were struck to report that the driver of the Porsche GT2 appeared to be racing with the driver of another light-colored sports car.
Neither stopped after the accident, and police still are looking for the second car.
"This is a case for good old shoe-leather investigation," said defense attorney Milton Hirsch.
Hit-and-run investigations carry no set timetable, though typically detectives wait until they complete all or most of their work before making an arrest. At that point, Florida law gives authorities 21 days to file charges against a suspect, or the charges must be dropped.
Police want to talk to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who can provide information. Contact Fort Lauderdale traffic homicide investigator Sandra Knutten at 954-828-5460 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.