A Fort McCoy man has been arrested and accused of leaving the scene of a motorcycle crash that killed a woman earlier this year.
Steven Timothy Cano was arrested at his probation officer’s office in Ocala at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday. He is charged with hit and run, failing to stop or remain at a crash involving death, and operating a motorcycle without a license. He was booked into the Marion County Jail with bail set at $12,000.
State records show Cano is serving felony probation for simple battery and false imprisonment. The term began in October 2020 and concludes in October 2023. Local court records also show he has had multiple traffic violations including speeding, driving on a suspended driver’s license and not wearing a seat belt.
What happened on May 16
On May 16, Florida Highway Patrol troopers were called to a crash along Northeast 127th Street Road in Fort McCoy. A woman, later identified as Elizabeth Anne Trube, 57, of Fort McCoy, was found deceased at the location.
Troopers believe Cano, 45, was riding an older model Yamaha westbound on Northeast 127th Street Road with Trube riding on the back. As he approached a left curve just west of Northeast 230th Avenue, the bike veered to the right and struck a thick brush and overturned, ejecting both Cano and Trube.
FHP officials said Cano left Trube after the crash. Her body was not discovered until later by a passerby who called 911. Troopers were called about the crash at 7:15 p.m. They think the wreck occurred about 4:30 p.m.
According to FHP Traffic Homicide Investigator Crystal Sollazzo’s report, two troopers went to Cano’s Fort McCoy residence looking for him, since the motorcycle was registered in his name. He wasn’t there.
A man who showed up at the residence told troopers that he heard about the crash and wanted to see if Cano was OK, according to an arrest affidavit. He said Cano recently bought the bike and doesn’t allow anyone to ride it.
He also said Cano was at work earlier.
Investigators have two encounters with the suspect
The troopers found Cano at his father’s residence, which is not far from the crash site. Cano told troopers that someone must have stolen his bike and he didn’t know anything about the crash, according to the affidavit.
Troopers said Cano seemed nonchalant about the crash, and told them he had been at his father’s residence the whole day. The man who earlier spoke with the troopers told them that Cano had been at work.
Throughout the investigation, Sollazzo and other troopers interviewed several witnesses who told them that Trube was with Cano before the crash, that both were at a bar earlier, and Trube was afraid of operating any type of vehicle, according to the affidavit.
At least one item recovered from the crash scene was identified as belonging to Cano, troopers said.
Two surveillance videos obtained by troopers showed Trube and Cano on the motorcycle on the day of the crash. Investigators were told the two were friends.
The day after the crash, troopers caught up with Cano again, this time at Ocala Regional Medical Center.
Only at that point did Cano tell a trooper that he had been involved in the crash and that he was scared, according to the affidavit. He said Trube wanted to ride the motorcycle. He said he allowed her to ride the bike when she crashed.
A few days after the crash, Sollazzo got a search warrant, signed by a judge, to get DNA evidence from Cano and any pictures taken of injuries he suffered in the crash.
According to the FHP, Cano’s injuries were consistent with what someone would suffer in a motorcycle crash.
Sollazzo got another search warrant for touch DNA from the motorcycle. Last month, troopers received the DNA results that matched Cano. Trube’s DNA was not recovered from the motorcycle.
Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118, [email protected] or @almillerosb.