A Newark police officer struck and killed a nurse with his car and then drove the body to his mother’s house to seek advice before returning to the scene with the body, officials said on Wednesday.
Louis Santiago, 25, of Bloomfield was arrested and charged with reckless vehicle murder, human trafficking and other charges after beating and killing 29-year-old nurse Damian Dymka, of Garfieldon the Garden State Parkway, according to the Essex County Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Santiago’s mother, 53-year-old Annette Santiago, and passenger Albert Guzman, 25, were charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains, prevent arrest and conspiracy to prevent arrest and manipulation of physical evidence.
On Monday, November 1, around 03:00, Santiago – who was free at the time – drove a Honda Accord from 2005 north on Parkway near exit 151 when he drove from his lane into the right shoulder and hit and killed Dymka, prosecutors said. .
Neither Santiago nor Guzman called 911 or tried to help the man, officials said, but returned to the scene several times before Santiago loaded Dymka’s body into his car. The two drove to Santiago’s home in Bloomfield, where they discussed what to do with the body.
Santiago then returned to the scene when his father – a lieutenant in the Newark Police Department – called 911 and reported that his son was in an accident. Police arrived and found Dymka’s dead body in the back seat of Accord.
In addition to vehicle murder, Santiago is also charged with leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death, endangering an injured victim, desecrating / moving human remains, preventing one’s own arrest, conspiracy to prevent prosecution, manipulation of physical evidence, obstruction of administration of law and two cases of misconduct.
All three have been released on parole, according to prosecutors.