LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — The manhunt continues for a man who skipped out on his bail after being charged with the death of a local biker in Leesburg.
35-year-old Jose Omar Azua is on the run after he struck and killed 54-year-old Lori Dudley in a hit-and-run crash.
The incident occurred in August of 2016 when Azua was believed to have been driving under the influence and struck the Harley Davidson motorcycle Dudley was on from behind.
At the time of the incident, Dudley was stopped at a red traffic light and Azua failed to slow down hitting Dudley with enough force to send her up into the air before landing on the windshield of Azua’s vehicle and ultimately the pavement.
Azua then reportedly fled the scene on foot only to return later while police were investigating.
When Azua returned, police stated he smelled of alcohol and that he told officers he was not driving and that the driver had left.
Azua ultimately turned himself in several days later and admitted he was driving at the time of the incident. However, by this time, officers were not able to prove he had been intoxicated behind the wheel.
Azua was arrested and charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident and vehicular manslaughter.
Azua’s arrest records show that he was held at the Lake County Jail for less than 24 hours before being released after posting a $35,000 bond.
Friends, family, and community members were enraged after learning that a Tavares bail bond agency posted Azua’s bond without requiring any collateral, especially since arrest records indicated Azua was not a U.S. citizen.
For almost two years since his release, Dudley’s family members have constantly expressed concerns that Azua was a risk if left free.
Azua then failed to appear at a scheduled trial hearing on January 31, 2018.
According to Azua’s attorney, Hiram Rodriguez-Garcia, Azua had not checked in since December 15, 2017.
A warrant was issued for Azua’s arrest and he has since been evading police.
Dudley’s family, eager to seek justice for their deceased mother, have been contacting as many people as they can to find Azua.
Recent information obtained by a family member leads them to believe Azua is still in Florida and is in the area of Crescent City, Florida.
Azua is described as a 5’8″ Hispanic with brown eyes, black hair, and weighs approximately 160 pounds.
Anyone who has seen Azua or has any information as to his whereabouts is urged to contact their local police.