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Rohnert Park man sought in fatal hit-run

Authorities on Sunday were still looking for a Rohnert Park man wanted for questioning in the death of a pedestrian on Petaluma Hill Road, the CHP said.

Authorities were hoping John Mesker, 33, would make himself available to investigators so they could determine what, if any, role he played in the Saturday morning fatality, the CHP said.

The early morning incident resulted in the death of a 21-year-old Santa Rosa man named Basilio Nathan Garza Jr., who was found in the roadway just north of Hunter Lane and Snyder Lane around 4:15 a.m. Saturday, the CHP said.

Evidence at the scene indicated he had been struck by a southbound vehicle, the CHP said.

In reporting the death Saturday, the CHP asked the public to be on the lookout for a vehicles with front-end damage consistent with hitting a pedestrian.

Hours later, a Rohnert Park resident alerted authorities to a suspicious vehicle parked in front of her home on Holly Avenue, just off Snyder Lane a few miles from the accident scene, the CHP said.

The Toyota sedan has been impounded as evidence, CHP Sgt. Ross Ingels said.

The vehicle was registered to a relative of Mesker, but authorities believe Mesker had been driving it, Ingels said.

Officers were still looking for him on Sunday morning and believed he was in the area, he said.

“He’s local, and we think he’s going to stay local,” Ingels said.

There were reports Garza was walking on Petaluma Hill Road because of an earlier agument with friends with whom he had been riding, the CHP said.

(You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or mary.callahan@pressdemocrat.com.)

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