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Vehicle specs spur second reconstruction


February 20. 2013 1:11AM
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WILKES-BARRE – For the second time in the investigation, state police at Wyoming and city police on Monday shut down West North Street to reconstruct the hit-and-run that claimed the life of 5-year-old Kevin Miller.


Miller, of Dallas, was struck by what city police said was a red Pontiac Grand Am the night of Dec. 21.


Police said Miller was holding the hand of his father, Stephen Miller, when he was struck after the family left a Christmas party on West North Street.


A red Pontiac Grand Am was seized Friday night outside a house on Mack Street, Plains Township. The vehicle closely matches the car recorded by city and private surveillance cameras in the area where Miller was struck.


Thomas Letteer, of Mack Street, was identified as a person of interest by Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis.


No charges have been filed.


The Pontiac that was taken appeared to have a newer passenger-side headlight.


Troopers reconstructed the accident the day after Miller was struck. They returned Monday after the Pontiac was seized with a search warrant on Friday.


Measurements of West North Street from North River to North Main streets, including the height of the crest on West North Street between the two roads, were taken with specialized equipment.


With the Pontiac specifications known, troopers used a complex formula to estimate the speed by comparing other known factors in the hit-and-run.


Accident reconstructions usually take four to six weeks to complete.


It was the second time police examined the Pontiac at the Letteer residence.


Police visited Letteer at his home on Dec. 23 while the car was parked in the driveway. He admitted driving it on Dec. 21 but stated he went to his girlfriend's house in Pittston Township from a party in West Wyoming and never travels to Wilkes-Barre, according to the search warrant affidavit for the Pontiac.


Letteer's girlfriend, identified as Abigail Tarver, told a different story to a friend who contacted police on Dec. 29.


The friend, who is identified in the affidavit as Witness No. 2, told investigators she picked up Tarver at a bus terminal in the Delaware Water Gap on Dec. 23. The friend said Tarver was going to tell her something that she had to keep to herself.


Tarver allegedly told the witness that Letteer was drunk when he came to her house on Dec. 21. The witness indicated Tarver also told her Letteer hit someone and killed them.


Letteer told Tarver that he thinks it was the 5-year-old boy reported in the news, the affidavit says.


Tarver became angry after learning the witness talked to investigators, according to the affidavit, and texted I can't (expletive) believe you during an interview. The witness did not respond to the text message.


Police believe Letteer was on his way to Rodano's Restaurant on Public Square after leaving a party in West Wyoming.




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