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Arrest made in deadly Indian River County hit-and-run

Posted at 8:02 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 17:47:43-04

UPDATE: An arrest has been made in the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed 19-year-old Desmond in Indian River County. 

18-year-old Francisco Magana Cendejas was arrested Monday, after detectives discovered damage on a red Nissan pickup truck witness reported seeing at the time of the crash.

Cendejas admitted he was the driver. He was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash involving death.


Reneal Ross Johnson began to worry when her mother called her 10 days ago to say her son had not come home from work.

It was in the woods off 58th Avenue between 33rd and 37th Streets where 19-year-old Desmond Johnson’s body was recovered last Friday.  The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating this case as a possible hit-and-run. 

“Someone hit him and didn’t even stop to acknowledge if he was OK," said Ross Johnson Monday.

Johnson’s body found about half a mile from where he was staying with his grandmother.

“We’re hurt because we don’t know if he laid there and suffered," said relative Linda Morgan.

Ross Johnson says Desmond loved riding his skateboard.  Investigators believe he was riding one when he was hit.  It was recovered at the scene.

 “I understand accidents happen but he was my son.  He had a life, he had people who cared," added Ross Johnson.

Desmond Johnson worked at the McDonald’s along State Road 60 on 58th Avenue, less than 20 blocks from where his body was found.  Some of the employees told NewsChannel 5 that they formed search parties to look for him, and some of them found the body.