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Ruben Lara Jr., a 40-year-old construction worker who lived at 3450 Ellington St. in Waterloo, was killed in a hit-and-run homicide early Friday morning, Dec. 8, 2000, while walking along Highway 218 south of Shaulis Road.
Officials estimated Lara had been hit sometime around 2 a.m.
According to a Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier article dated Dec. 12, 2000, detectives believed Lara had been struck by at least two automobiles because one of the motorists who called authorities had driven over Lara as he lay on the road.
Waterloo Police Sgt. John Daws said that based on the type and location of injuries, Lara was probably in a standing position when struck by the first vehicle — believed to be a passenger car or small pickup truck.
“So far, we have him standing up and being struck,” Daws told the Courier. “We’re looking for a (vehicle) that would have front-end, hood or windshield damage.”
The hit-and-run vehicle may have sustained damage from the accident, police said, and dents, scratches and broken glass could all be clues to help lead investigators to the person or persons who fled the scene after killing Lara.
A Texas native and father of three, Lara lived in the mobile home park near the intersection of Orange Road and Highway 218 — about one mile from where his body was found.
At about 1:45 a.m. Friday, Lara and his wife left home to go to a store in town, police said, but for reasons police declined to discuss, his wife let him out of the car before they reached their destination.
Investigators believe he was walking north toward Waterloo when he was hit sometime after that and before 2:13 a.m., Daws said. Lara was not carrying any identification, and police identified the body after Lara’s wife reported him missing at 1 p.m. Friday.
Ruben Lara Jr. was born July 2, 1960.
The hit-and-run driver remains at large.
Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000.00 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Waterloo Police Department at 319-291-4340 ext. 3 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be sent with TipSoft or by texting the word CEDAR plus the information to CRIMES (274637). Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt out at any time. Text HELP for more information.
Anonymous tips may be sent through the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers Confidential Web Tip Information System.