Updated 04/22/12 – 5:27 p.m.

CHICAGO (STMW) — A wrecked car without a driver was found early Sunday parked a little more than a mile from the scene of a Saturday night hit-and-run crash that killed a 49-year-old South Side woman.

The black Nissan had “substantial” front-end damage and a large hole in its windshield — likely evidence of a vehicle striking a person, said police News Affairs Officer John Mirabeli.

“It was still smoking,” he said.

Police believe the Nissan, found Sunday in the 3600 block of South Archer Avenue, is the same car involved in a fatal hit-and-run wreck in the 4200 block of South Western Avenue about 11:40 p.m. Saturday. Cynthia Hoff, 49, was crossing the street when a motorist driving the Nissan north on Western Avenue struck her and kept going, officials said.

Hoff, who lived less than a mile away in the 4300 block of South Honore Street, was pronounced dead at Holy Cross Hospital at 12 a.m., the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. An autopsy Sunday confirmed that multiple injuries from a motor vehicle accident killed her.

The car police say hit her was found with the help of a crash scene witness who called 911 with an “immediate description” of the fleeing Nissan, Mirabeli said. Police searched the area and a Deering District beat officer soon spotted the car — but not the driver.

While previous media reports indicated that police had arrested the driver and charges were pending against him, Mirabeli and other police sources said Sunday only that a person of interest has been identified — but no one is in custody.

The Major Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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