ALFRED — Carolyn Lee, the 21-year-old York woman charged with manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of a 24-year-old Massachusetts tourist, was released Wednesday morning from the York County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Lee, who was charged with drunken driving in 2013 but reached a plea deal on lesser charges, told a York police officer that she had two drinks after getting off work Monday night at a local restaurant where she is a waitress, according to an affidavit filed in York County Superior Court in Alfred.

The parents of the victim, 24-year-old Emily A. Zarnoch, of Quincy, Massachusetts, said their daughter had been preparing to start a job as a teacher, a career path that she had long been passionate about.

Lee would have been arraigned on the manslaughter charge in Springvale District Court on Wednesday afternoon, but posted bail before the hearing was held. She will appear Oct. 9 in York County Superior Court on the manslaughter charge, as well as on charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury.

After her arrest early Tuesday, Lee refused to provide police with a blood sample to test for the presence of alcohol and drugs. Two hours later, police ordered her blood drawn at York Hospital. The results of the blood test weren’t included in Wednesday’s court documents.

John Zarnoch, Emily Zarnoch’s father, told The Boston Globe that his daughter and her boyfriend, Stephen Cortez, were on vacation in Maine with the Zarnoch family. The couple decided to explore the nightlife in York on Monday and walked in case they wanted to have a few drinks. They were on their way home, strolling hand-in-hand along Ridge Road, when police say Lee struck Zarnoch, throwing her 60 feet.

“The next thing (Cortez) knew she was just gone,” the affidavit said.

The impact “took her right out of his hand,” John Zarnoch told the Globe.

Lee – who goes by Carly – had been released Tuesday from the York County Jail in Alfred after making $5,000 cash bail on the charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, but was re-arrested that night after further investigation resulted in the arrest warrant for manslaughter.

Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.


Ridge Road, a two-lane road that runs along residential areas, has shoulders on each side and connects the neighborhood where Lee’s family lives and the beachfront business area where Lee worked.

According to the warrant for her arrest, York patrol officer Jonathan Rogers stopped Lee after the accident and noticed her breath smelled of alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and her speech was slurred.

Lee told the officer she had two drinks after getting out of work at Inn on the Blues, a beachfront restaurant about 5 miles from her home on Dock Road.

The general manager of Inn on the Blues in York, who only identified himself as Ben, said Lee had worked at the restaurant as a server “on and off for a couple years.”

“She was a fantastic employee here. She showed up early, worked hard and left. We have nothing but good things to say,” he said.

Ben said he wasn’t working Monday night and didn’t know if Lee consumed the drinks at the restaurant’s bar.

Rogers asked Lee about the damage to her SUV, including a broken headlight consistent with hitting a person; a large dent on the passenger side hood and a piece of denim wedged inside the broken glass of the headlight assembly.

Lee at first told the officer that the headlight was broken by a baseball, then, when Rogers told her that the damage was unlikely to be from a baseball, Lee said, “I was parked reverse. And I swear to God I felt like I had somebody hit my car. I had gotten into it and it started making a weird noise.”

Rogers then placed Lee under arrest.


Zarnoch was unconscious and being tended to by Cortez on the lawn of 366 Ridge Road when an ambulance and rescue workers arrived soon after receiving the emergency call at 12:32 a.m. She died at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire.

Stephen Cortez Sr., of Pepperell, Massachusetts, confirmed by telephone Wednesday that his son was Zarnoch’s boyfriend, but said the family didn’t want to talk.

Cortez gave police a description of the vehicle, and shortly afterward an officer stopped a blue 2000 GMC Yukon driven by Lee on Long Sands Road, said York police Sgt. Luke Ernenwein.

In 2013, Lee was charged in York County with driving under the influence, but that charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal in which she admitted responsibility to the illegal transportation of drugs by a minor, illegal transportation of alcohol by a minor and use of drug paraphernalia. She paid fines and had her license suspended for 30 days. She also has been cited twice in York County for illegal possession of marijuana, in March and December of 2014.

Lee also has a criminal record in Cumberland County on theft charges involving the Hannaford store in South Portland in November 2013, and for violating the bail conditions of the 2013 OUI charge.

She pleaded no contest to the theft charges in Cumberland County in 2014, and the charges were dismissed on Jan. 5 after she completed the terms of a nine-month deferred disposition. The nine-month sentence required her to attend a shoplifters program, refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and stay out of trouble, according to records at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.


Zarnoch had been hired recently as a teacher at Central Middle School in Quincy after having served as a long-term substitute teacher there, according to a written statement by Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro. She would have started in September, teaching seventh-grade reading, her mother, Gwen Zarnoch, told the Globe.

“She really cherished, in teaching, when the kids ‘got it,’ ” Gwen Zarnoch said. “She really felt that she’d made a connection and was helping them improve themselves.”

Zarnoch was an honors student at North Quincy High School, graduating in 2009.

Geoff Hennessy, the school’s track and field coach, had worked with Zarnoch since she was 10 and said a career in education was her longtime goal.

“Her plan was to become a teacher-coach,” he told the Quincy Patriot Ledger. “It’s tragic that all that was snuffed out needlessly.”

Hennessy said Zarnoch was an enthusiastic, good-humored athlete who was eager to become a coach. She had volunteered as an assistant coach with the high school track and cross-country teams last winter. Hennessy said Zarnoch loved working with other people.

“She always had a sense of humor and could always find the best in any situation,” he said. “If I was mad, she could always find something nice to say.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.