A local man has been charged in a deadly hit and run.
Jonathan Lee Burgsteiner, 30, previously of Granite Falls but living in Hickory, was charged with felony hit and run after investigators linked him to the death of a woman who had been reported missing.
Dalinette Trinidad Del Valle, 21, of 311 U.S. Highway 70 E, in Hildebran, was last seen walking along the Interstate 40 Access Road off of Exit 119 in Hildebran on Thursday night, according to information from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
Local search and rescue teams scoured the area Friday and Del Valle’s body was discovered just after 7 p.m. Friday evening near H and A Carpet, according to Sgt. Sanders with the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Sanders said it appeared as though Del Valle had been hit by a vehicle and her body was thrown from the impact and rolled down into a ravine.
Trooper Gouge with NCSHP said Del Valle most likely died on impact.
The News Herald reported online that a piece of a Dodge vehicle that was painted red or burgundy in color was recovered from the scene, and the details flew up a red flag to Bursteiner’s in-laws, according to Gouge.
Gouge said Sharon Worley, of Hickory, called the Highway Patrol’s office and told them that Burgsteiner, her son-in-law who lives with her, had borrowed a vehicle and returned it with a broken headlight. When questioned about the damage, Bursteiner said he’d hit a deer, but his father-in-law couldn’t find any signs of a dead deer at the spot where his son-in-law said the incident happened.
When his story didn’t add up, Worley came forward and told troopers she was concerned. The family asked investigators to look at their vehicle to see if it could’ve been involved in the deadly hit and run, according to Gouge.
“The piece that was found at the scene matched up perfectly,” he said.
Burgsteiner continued to maintain that he thought he’d hit a deer and said he’d stopped, but Gouge said Del Valle’s shoes, purse and glasses were still in the roadway when a witness drove by the scene just after she was killed.
Gouge praised Worley and her family for having the courage to come forward with the information instead of ignoring their gut instinct.
“Things could’ve gone a lot differently if they hadn’t spoken up,” he said.
Burgsteiner was taken into custody just after 11 p.m. Friday night, a little more than 24 hours after Del Valle was last seen.
He is being held under a $10,000 secured bond for felony hit and run and is facing more charges.