PARIS — Two people identified by police as persons of interest in a fatal hit-and-run have been cleared of involvement in the case as investigators continue to chase leads across Western Maine.

Xavier Fuentes, 16, of Turner, was killed on an unlit stretch of Route 117 sometime before 8:30 p.m. March 15.

On Wednesday, police Chief Michael Madden said the department has received tips about the crash every day, but none so far have made a break in the case.

Police cleared two individuals of involvement after they were interviewed by Detective Sgt. Jeff Lange, Madden said. One person came to the police to report an unrelated accident that happened in the area the same evening, he said.

Police were led to another individual though a tip, but have eliminated the person from their inquires after finding no damage to their vehicle and determining they had a strong alibi. 

A full report from a crash reconstruction done by the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office is not not complete, but Lange has been following leads across Oxford and Androscoggin counties, according to Madden. 

“We are working tirelessly on this,” Madden said, noting Lange investigated the case for seven straight days last week.

“We’re going to be looking for them until this is solved, we’re just asking for the person to come forward,” Madden said. 

Police believe Fuentes was wearing dark clothes and walking against traffic when he was struck, near the intersection of Brett Hill Road, a short distance west of downtown South Paris.

The teen had been at the Flagship Cinemas in Oxford with his family earlier in the evening, but reportedly got in an argument with his grandmother and began walking to his Turner home. He was struck approximately four miles from the movie theater.

Police suspect the vehicle that hit Fuentes was large enough to carry a snowplow and could have been a pickup truck or an SUV. 

Every day that goes by can make the case more difficult to solve, but not always, Madden said. 

“In cases like this, with fatal hit-and-run accidents, it really varies what’s going on inside the mind of the person who did it,” Madden said.

“Whoever it is, we want their side of the story … There’s a family out there that no longer has their child and needs some closure on this.”

Anyone with information or possible leads is asked to call the Paris Police Department at 207-743-7448 or email [email protected].

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