Minnesota man charged in 2014 hit-and-run in Polk County
POLK COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - A Minnesota man is charged with two counts of hit and run resulting in death in a Polk County a crash that happened in January 2014.
Andrew Endres of Randolph, Minnesota is charged in the deaths of Richard Cobenais and Benjamin Juarez.
According to the criminal complaint, Polk County dispatch received a 911 call just before 6:30 p.m. on January 11, 2014 about two people who had been hit by vehicle on County Road E, near Luck.
An investigator with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reported two people were fighting in the middle of County Road E when a truck approached from the north and hit both of them. The victims were identified as Cobenais and Juarez.
According to the criminal complaint, the truck stopped briefly and at least two people got out, approached the victims, ran back to the truck, and left the scene.
In October 2014, it was determined the suspected vehicle in the case was a black 1997-2003 Ford F150 XLT or light duty F250 XLT.
On September 28, 2020, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from a man saying his estranged wife was drunk one night and told him her friend, identified as Endres, was the driver of the truck that hit and killed the two men. The caller said at the time of the incident, Endres was on his way to his parents’ cabin, and was driving a late 1990s, black Ford F150. The caller went on to say Endres had the truck fixed at an unknown location in Minnesota and paid cash. A records search found a 1997 Ford F150 truck previously registered to Endres. Phone records also showed Endres in the area at the time of the crash.
The investigator learned Endres was a volunteer firefighter with the Randolph-Hampton Fire Department.
On October 13, 2020, law enforcement officers made contact with the person who currently owned the truck previously owned by Endres. The new owner voluntarily turned it over for the investigation.
On October 14, 2020, investigators went to meet with Endres. He claimed he didn’t know where Polk County, Wisconsin was, but confirmed his parents have a cabin near Luck. When asked if the truck he used to own had ever been in an accident, he replied “not that he knew of.”
On October 15, 2020, a search warrant was executed at Endres' home in Dakota County.
A witness told law enforcement that he and his then-girlfriend went with Endres to a cabin in Luck. The witness said they left the cabin, and recalled seeing two figures in the middle of the road fighting. The witness recalled Endres slamming on the brakes. He said Endres got out of the truck, saw the victims, and ran back to the truck. The witness says they took a different way back to the cabin, and Endres tried to clean the truck off with bleach.
He says Endres called him after he was questioned by law enforcement and warned him officers may be coming to talk to him as well. The witness said they hadn’t talked about the incident in years and said they left the scene that night because they were both scared and didn’t know what to do. He admitted they were both drinking, but didn’t feel as though they were intoxicated.
Endres is in custody in Dakota County in Minnesota.
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