HomeCrimeSuspect arrested in December hit-and-run death of UF student
Suspect arrested in December hit-and-run death of UF student
July 1, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Joshua A. Figueroa has been arrested and charged with the hit-and-run death of Margaret Paxton, an 18-year-old UF student, on December 9, 2020.
Paxton was killed around 10:48 p.m. while crossing University Avenue southbound at Gale Lemerand Drive, and the driver of the car that hit her failed to stop or render aid. Automated license plate readers and parts of the car left at the scene were used to identify the car as a 2003 BMW, blue in color, with a tag registered to Miguel Angel Figueroa, who has a history of employment at Best Motor Works and Sports in the Depot Park area. According to the arrest report, investigators went to the business on December 15, 2020, and saw a blue BMW in the lot that was “wedged in tightly,” surrounded by other vehicles “in what appears to be an attempt to conceal the vehicle.” The car had damage to the right front quarter panel and visible hood crumpling on the right side. Detectives were denied permission to enter the lot by M. Figueroa, but they obtained a warrant and returned to seize the vehicle.
The search warrant also allowed detectives to search the interior of the car, where they found paperwork belonging to Joshua Figueroa, the son of the registered owner of the car. Analysis of blood spatter found on the exterior of the car matched the victim. Cell phone records showed that Joshua Figueroa was in the area of the crash at the time of the hit-and-run, and records also showed that the suspect called two people about 15 minutes after the crash.
On June 29, 2021, investigators interviewed the second person called by the suspect, who said he was contacted by the suspect that night and that J. Figueroa had stated that he had hit “someone or something” with his car. They met at Lillian’s Music Store, where the suspect “started consuming alcoholic beverages and was visibly upset.” J. Figueroa showed the witness the car, and the witness said he told Figueroa that he didn’t want to know anything else about the crash.
Joshua Figueroa was arrested this afternoon and refused to answer any questions.
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