New Jersey officer accused of hitting pedestrian, taking body home


NEWARK, NJ, (WFLA) — A New Jersey police officer was charged for hitting a pedestrian and leaving the scene with the victim’s body.

Louis Santiago, 25 of Bloomfield, NJ, was arrested and charged with reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains and related charges for hitting a pedestrian on the Garden State Parkway on Nov. 1, a press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The release says Santiago, who was off duty at the time, was driving a 2005 Honda Accord around 3 a.m. when he failed to maintain his lane before traveling on the right shoulder of the parkway, striking a 29-year-old nurse.

Preliminary investigations allege Santiago did not call 911 or render aid after striking the victim, but instead, returned to the scene multiple times before loading the victim into his car and leaving the scene. Reports say Santiago then took the body to his home where he, his mother and another person allegedly discussed what to do with the body.

Eventually, the report adds, Santiago went back to the scene with the body.

Santiago’s father, who is a lieutenant in the Newark Police Department, called police reporting his son was an accident. When authorities arrive, they found the victim dead in the back seat of the car.

All three individuals were arrested, charged and released with conditions the release said.

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