A New Jersey cop is facing numerous charges after he was allegedly involved in a hit and run accident that left a 29-year-old nurse dead. After the incident, the suspect allegedly drove home with the body of the victim to ask his mother advice.
Louis Santiago, 25, was off duty when prosecutors say he traveled onto the right shoulder of the Garden State Parkway around 3 a.m. on November 1, hitting nurse Damian Dymka, according to a news release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutors allege Santiago and his passenger, 25-year-old Albert Guzman, didn’t render aid or call 911, “but returned to the scene multiple times” before Santiago loaded Dymka into the car “and removed him from the scene,” the release said.
Santiago then went to his home in Bloomfield, where he, Guzman, and Santiago’s mother, Annette Santiago, discussed what to do with the body, the release said.
Eventually Santiago went back to the scene, the prosecutor’s office said. Santiago’s father, who is a lieutenant with the Newark Police Department, called 911 and reported his son was in an accident, the release said. “When the New Jersey State Police arrived, the victim was dead in the back seat of the car,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Santiago has been charged with reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating/moving human remains, leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death, endangering an injured victim, tampering with physical evidence, hindering one’s own apprehension, conspiracy to hinder prosecution, obstructing the administration of law and two counts of official misconduct, prosecutors said.
Both Guzman and Annette Santiago have been charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains, hindering apprehension, and conspiracy to hinder apprehension and tamper with physical evidence, prosecutors said.