No Charges Filed Against Man Accused of Taking Wallet After Fatal Crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

No Charges Filed Against Man Accused of Taking Wallet After Fatal Crash

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Prosecutors declined to file charges today against a Carlsbad man arrested on suspicion of stealing a dying pregnant woman's wallet at the scene of an auto accident on Interstate 5 in Solana Beach.

After reviewing the case against 31-year-old Mark Christopher Struk, the District Attorney's Office found no evidence that a crime had been committed, spokesman Paul Levikow said.

Struk, who was accused of taking the victim's pocketbook at the scene of the Jan. 4 crash, has denied committing the crime.

Witnesses told authorities they saw a woman get out of Struk's Subaru station wagon and pick up 24-year-old Yine Gonzales' wallet from where it landed on the highway.

When investigators arrested Struk two days later, they also took a woman into custody, but released her after questioning her about the accident.

Struk told investigators he left the billfold behind at the crash site.

Authorities initially said the wallet -- along with $400 and two passports -- was missing, and later said it turned up, empty, inside the victim's SUV.

The cash and identification documents have not been recovered, CHP Sgt. Kirk Van Orsdel said this afternoon. "And so it's our opinion that that money and the passports were stolen," Van Orsdel said.

He declined to say if CHP investigators have any suspects in the alleged theft.

The man accused of causing the fatal accident, 27-year-old John Francis Sudac of Carlsbad, has pleaded not guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run causing death and possession of marijuana. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Sudac allegedly was speeding to the north about 1 a.m. when the Nissan Altima he was driving clipped the back of a Ford Explorer near Lomas Santa Fe Drive.

Gonzalez, a passenger in the Explorer, was partially ejected from the SUV as it rolled over several times, CHP Officer Mark Latulippe said.

The Tijuana resident, who was six months pregnant, died of her injuries at a hospital, and her fetus also could not be saved. Her husband, 5-year-old daughter and two relatives were treated for minor injuries.

Sudac and a male passenger allegedly ran from the site of the wreck, but Sudac surrendered later that night, according to the Highway Patrol.

The defendant, who is free on $200,100 bail, is due back in court Jan. 22 for a readiness conference. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 26.

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