Charges: Tire marks on girl killed in hit-and-run match suspect's boat trailer


A Minnesota man is charged in the hit-and-run death of a 10-year-old Caylin Donovan near Lake Mille Lacs earlier this month.

Steven Meier, 44, was charged Wednesday with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide for leaving the scene of the crash and failing to notify law enforcement about the incident, according to the criminal complaint.

Charges say Caylin was hit along Highway 18 just before 8 p.m. on June 10.

Investigators believe she was picking rocks at the time she was hit, an activity her mom said she loved to do. Caylin's funeral was held Tuesday, Forum News Service says.

Tip, tire marks lead to charges

Investigators received a tip from the public, which helped them track down Meier and another woman who were driving down the highway at the time of the crash. They were both arrested earlier this week, but the woman has not been charged.

Charges say there was a fresh tire tread mark on Caylin's thigh that appeared to match the tread on Meier's boat trailer. Caylin's DNA was also found on the passenger side of the trailer, where there was some visible damage.

Meier denied hitting anything or swerving while driving down the highway on June 10. However, the woman who was traveling behind him told investigators she had to swerve to avoid hitting a body in the road, and admitted she didn't stop or call 911, charges say.

If convicted, Meier could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine for each charge.

State Patrol seeks help in 2nd hit-and-run

The State Patrol is still looking for the public's help in a separate hit-and-run death that happened in the same area on the same day.

Authorities say 85-year-old Margaret Ann Johnson was found dead next to her mailbox on the shoulder of Highway 47 about 3 1/2 miles east of Aitkin on June 10. It happened between noon and 1 pm., the State Patrol says.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the State Patrol at 218-316-3026 or the Aitkin County Sheriff at 218-927-7435.

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