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Austin R. Conley

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Suspect, car located in fatal hit-and-run

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • October 29, 2012 - 8:56 PM

Police have located the suspect and car believed to have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run over the weekend in Minneapolis' Warehouse District, authorities said Monday.

Sgt. Stephen McCarty said police and Crime Stoppers of Minnesota teamed up to locate the driver and the vehicle.

The suspect was located in Ramsey County and is being held there pending charges, which are expected Tuesday.

Publicity about the case released through news media helped police break the case, the sergeant added.

Augsburg College student Austin R. Conley, 20, was hit about 2:45 a.m. Saturday while walking near the corner of 3rd Street and 1st Avenue N. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died.

Conley's father, Earl Conley, said police called him Monday morning with the developments, which he said gave him satisfaction to "some degree."

"They didn't tell me much because they are still wrapping up the investigation," Earl Conley said, only that "they were going to be pursuing charges. ... They said we have a person in custody and there was a confession already."

The vehicle, initially described as a dark four-door, possibly a Chevy Lumina, with front-end damage, was westbound on 3rd Street when it hit Conley. McCarty said the vehicle seized matched that description.

Relatives and a statement sent to students at Augsburg by college President Paul Pribbenow said Conley was a first-year student who lived on the Minneapolis campus and was a business management major.

Conley's 21-year-old sister, Alissa Conley of Minneapolis, said her brother grew up in Minneapolis with his family -- his parents, an older sister, an older brother and her -- and attended Dunwoody Institute and several other Minneapolis schools before going to Augsburg. He loved creating his own rap music and had hoped to work in the music business after college, she said.

Along with being a student, Austin Conley worked at the Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar at 700 Hennepin Av. in downtown Minneapolis, his sister said.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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