Half a lifetime before authorities say Robert Corchado struck the back of a Toyota Solara and fled, sending the coupe into a Winter Park-area day care, he had his first documented arrest when he was just 13 years old.
As the manhunt continues, details of Corchado’s history of run-ins with the law are emerging, dating back more than a decade and continuing until about a week before the hit-and-run crash at Goldenrod KinderCare, which claimed the life of 4-year-old Lily Quintus and injured more than a dozen others.
On Thursday, Florida Highway Patrol Major Cindy Williams said Corchado has ties to the Latin Kings gang and likely has friends who have helped him hide since Wednesday’s crash
One of the public’s tips led troopers to discover Corchado’s Durango, which he abandoned after the KinderCare crash, Williams said. Officials also confirmed that the U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search.
A warrant has been issued for Corchado’s arrest for leaving the scene of a crash causing serious injury and dead, Williams said: “If he gives himself up peacefully, he’ll go peacefully. He just needs to turn himself in,” she said.
Now 28, Corchado’s earliest arrest reflected in law enforcement records was for battery in 1999 in Seminole County. A string of arrests followed in subsequent years, for marijuana, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and probation violations, among other charges.
Corchado was sent to the Polk Youth Development Center in Polk City, which would soon become the scene of another crime.
According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office report, in July 2004, Corchado and four other teens began writing letters and talking to detention center staffer Chad Corbitt, asking for small amounts of money and hygiene products.
Corbitt began giving them $20 and $50, but the teens soon began asking for hundreds of dollars at a time, and said they could report the employee to his supervisors if he didn’t give them cash.