Off-duty N.J. officer fatally struck pedestrian, put body in car, prosecutor says

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A New Jersey police officer has been charged with fatally killing a pedestrian, taking the man’s body home, and then returning to the scene with the dead man in his back seat, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

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Essex County Acting Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II said in a written statement that Newark Officer Louis Santiago, 25, his passenger and his mother have been charged with the November 1 incident.

Santiago, who was off-duty, allegedly hit 29-year-old nurse Damien Dimka while he was walking on the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway at around 3 p.m.

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neither santiago The prosecutor’s office said neither his passenger, Albert Guzmán, called 911 or assisted Dymka.

They reportedly went to the scene several times before the Dymka was put on the Honda Accord. They then went to Santiago’s house, where they, Guzmán and Santiago’s mother, Annette Santiago, discussed what to do, Stephens’ office said.

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Officers said Louis Santiago eventually went back to the scene, and his father, who is a Newark police lieutenant, called 911.

The prosecutor’s office said New Jersey state police arrived and found Dimka dead in the back seat.

Louis Santiago has been charged with reckless driving, desecration of human remains, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct, among other charges, officials said.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Guzmán, 25, and Annette Santiago, 53, have been charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains and obstructing apprehension.

The prosecutor’s office said all three were arrested and released with conditions.

It was not immediately clear late Wednesday whether they had lawyers, and a phone number for them was not immediately found Wednesday night.

Newark Police declined to comment early Thursday, referring to all questions from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Credit: www.nbcnews.com /

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