NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Police say from the start, 32-year-old Jeremy Wharton was their prime suspect. But it took some time for DNA evidence to link him to the hit-and-run last October.

  • DNA links hit-and-run with suspect
  • Police searching for 32-year-old Jeremy Wharton
  • Hit-and-run happened Oct. 29, 2017 

Now they need the public’s help to find him.

Police sent out a release on social media Wednesday afternoon asking people to keep a look out for Wharton.

The post includes the 32-year-old’s license picture and also a picture of him from after the crash when police say they questioned him. 

Investigators say on Oct. 29, 2017, Wharton crashed into the back of a car at the 3200 block of State Road 44.

The crash killed the driver, 21-year-old Kaelee Morrell, and injured Morrell’s passenger.

Police say Wharton ran from the scene and left his SUV behind. 

Investigators say DNA evidence makes their case solid, but they don’t know Wharton’s current whereabouts.

“We need to give this family some closure,” said New Smyrna Beach Police Chief Mike Coffin. “This poor 21-year-old girl was killed, she wasn’t doing anything wrong, so we’re looking for Mr. Wharton, and we want to put him in jail.”

If you have any information on Wharton’s whereabouts, you’re asked to call investigator Kirkland with New Smyrna Beach Police at (386) 424-2245 or email Kirkland at