Prosecutors say an off-duty cop fatally struck a nurse with his car and drove her body to her mother’s house.
An off-duty New Jersey cop is suspected of fatally striking a nurse with his automobile on a parkway and transporting her body to his mother’s house, where they allegedly debated what to do with her body.
Around 3 a.m. on Nov. 1, Louis Santiago, 25, a Newark Police Department officer, was traveling north on the Garden State Parkway in a Honda Accord. When the police swerved onto the right shoulder of the parkway, his car collided with Damian Dymka, a 29-year-old nurse.
According to Essex County authorities, Louis and Albert Guzman, the car’s passengers, did not call 911 or provide any life-saving assistance after the tragedy. The pair fled the site, but they are said to have returned multiple times.
According to WFLA, Louis carried Dymka’s body into his car and drove it to his mother’s house in Bloomfield.
Guzman, Louis, and his mother, Annette Santiago, 53, allegedly discussed what to do with the body at the house. After then, Louis returned to the crime scene with the body.
Louis’ father, a Newark Police Department officer, later called 911 to report his son had been in an accident.
When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered Dymka’s body still in the back seat of Louis’ automobile.
In connection with the nurse’s death, police detained Louis, his mother, and Guzman. According to the New York Daily News, they were freed on conditional release on Tuesday.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Louis was charged with vehicular homicide after striking a pedestrian, leaving the scene, then returning and putting the victim in the car before returning to the site with the dead body.
Guzman and Annette are accused of plotting to desecrate human remains, obstructing justice, and tampering with physical evidence.
Dymka worked as a supervising nurse at Preakness Healthcare Center in Wayne and lived in Garfield.
“Who would move a body instead of calling for help?” says the officer. Dymka’s next-door neighbor, who did not want to be named, spoke to the Daily News.