PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities have identified the man arrested Wednesday night in connection with a hit-and-run in Overbrook that killed 8-year-old Jayanna Powell on Nov. 18.
Authorities say 24-year-old Paul Woodlyn was taken into custody Wednesday evening. Police say Woodlyn has a previous record.
Commissioner Richard Ross says police were led to the car involved in the accident by the owner of a A&P Body Shop in Frazer, Chester County, who saw news coverage of the story. The vehicle was nearly 30 miles away from the accident scene after someone dropped off the silver Nissan Altima with extensive front-end damage.
“The individual that runs the body shop saw that, got suspicious, called us up, we went up there and were able to match up some of the auto parts to that particular car,” Ross said.
Ross says the driver at the time of the hit-and-run was not the owner of the car, but has confessed to being behind the wheel when Powell was struck as she walked home from school.
Johnny Atkinson said he has seen Woodlyn drive the silver Nissan Altima before.
“If I saw him, I saw the car,” Atkinson, who lives a few doors down from Woodlyn, said. “I’ve seen him driving it before.”
Atkinson added it was irresponsible what Woodlyn allegedly did.
“I think it’s horrible what he did. It was irresponsible. It was callous. He had no regard for human life,” Atkinson said.
Neighbor Marcia Smith called on Woodlyn to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“He should be punished, really punished. Not a slap on the wrist where he gets five years. You understand. He should go away for a while,” Smith said. “This little girl lost her life and he didn’t even bother to stop.”
Jayanna was walking home from school with her three siblings near 63rd Street and Lansdowne Avenue on Nov. 18 when she was struck and killed.
Jayanna’s 12-year-old brother was holding her hand at the time.
Neighbors say the intersection where Jayanna died needs more oversight.
“All streets are dangerous, but that is the most dangerous intersection where they should always have a crossing guard,” Smith said.
Atkinson added, “Please, people, think about other people and care about other’s lives.”
Woodlyn has been charged with homicide by vehicle, accident involving death or personal injury and involuntary manslaughter.
Officials say Woodlyn’s bail has been set at $500,000.
KYW Newsradio’s Dan Wing contributed to this report.