Police officer hit pedestrian, took body home, New Jersey prosecutors say

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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 said 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 said Santiago did not call 911 or render aid after striking the victim, but he returned to the scene multiple times before loading the victim into his car and leaving the scene.

Reports said Santiago then took the body to his home where he, his mother and another person discussed what to do with the body.

Santiago eventually went back to the scene with the body, according to the report.

Santiago’s father, a lieutenant in the Newark Police Department, called police to report that his son was an accident.

When authorities arrived, they found the victim dead in the back seat of the car.

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

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