Driver Who Struck Man With Dementia and Left Him For Dead Sought

A single, white flower sits outside the door of Rogelio Paredes' apartment in Thousand Oaks.

He lived among other retirees, including his friend, Phil Berazen, who would often see him from a balcony just across the way.

"He didn't have a mean bone in his body," Berazen said.

Paredes was a military veteran, 68 years old, who had served in Vietnam.

He liked to stroll the grounds, take in the quiet surroundings and sometimes tell stories.

Colin Fluxman lives next door and remembers seeing Paredes daily.

"He would walk around. Very friendly. I'd say 'hi' to him."

But then, on Feb. 21, Paredes vanished unexpectedly, and it was under the most peculiar circumstances.

"I think it's very strange that he ended up on the freeway," Berazen said.

That day, passersby reported something -- perhaps a blanket -- on the median of the northbound 101 Freeway.

Turns out, it was Paredes' body. They found him two full miles away from his home.

"I don't know whether he had a car or not. I know he didn't drive," Berazen said.

Paredes suffered from dementia, the California Highway Patrol said. Although how extensive is not clear.

Investigators believe this was a case of felony hit-and-run.

Evidence at the scene indicates that a late 1990s model Toyota Camry had struck and killed him that day.

The driver did not stop and did not render aid.

"I just find it horrendous that somebody would actually do that," Fluxman said.

Fliers have been posted on the grounds letting Paredes' neighbors know about his funeral on Saturday.

They'll remember the friendly gentleman who liked to stroll around, telling stories, and wonder why someone would hurt him so badly and choose not to stop.

Anyone with information about this collision should contact CHP Moorpark at 805-553-0800.

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