One hit-and-run suspect in custody; other suspect at large

Sebastian Abel Villarreal, left; Eliud Rey Vazquez, right.

HOLLAND TWP. — The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that one of the suspects sought in connection with the hit-and-run death of a Holland Township woman is in custody, while the other suspect remains at large.

Melissa Jean Yates, 41, was struck and killed by a 2016 white Dodge Charger shortly after midnight Tuesday in the parking lot of the 136th One Stop party store, 690 136th Ave. in Holland Township.

Police said a fight broke out between two sets of individuals. During the altercation, Yates was knocked to the ground and then run over by the car. She suffered critical injuries and died later that day at a Grand Rapids hospital.

Eliud Rey Vazquez, 17, of Holland Township turned himself over to authorities and is at the Ottawa County Jail awaiting arraignment. Vazquez, who is a suspect in an associated assault from the evening, is charged with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

Sebastian Abel Villarreal, 22, of Holland is believed to be the driver of the vehicle that struck Yates. As of Thursday evening, he remained at large.

Villarreal is charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault resulting in death and third-time habitual offender. He has previous convictions related to fraudulent activity and failing to report an accident.

Detectives presented their evidence to the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday that led to the charges.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Villarreal is encouraged to contact Silent Observer at 877-887-4536 or online at

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