Officer Sonny Molina was the first officer to encounter Hawkes in the predawn hours of April 21, 2014. Hawkes was driving a pickup truck with the window rolled down, and Molina said he became suspicious when Hawkes said “hi” to him and drove away from the intersection of Pennsylvania and Chico NE around 3 a.m.
He ran the truck’s license plates through a police database, which showed the truck was stolen. He tried searching for her in the area and found the vehicle she was driving abandoned. He called for backup and Dear, officer Tanner Tixier and a field investigator responded.
Molina searched the truck and found a cellphone opened to Hawkes’ Facebook profile, which he used to identify her as a suspect for receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. The vehicle’s owner later told police investigators that Hawkes was seeing his roommate.