Investigators in Newark are reporting that a police officer who struck a pedestrian and put her body in the back of his vehicle, was reportedly drunk at the time of the accident.
According to the report, the victim was walking along Garden State Parkway around 3:00 a.m. on November 1st when she was struck by 25-year-old officer Louis Santiago.
Instead of contacting authorities or attempting to render aid to the victim, Santiago and his passenger 25-year-old Albert Guzman loaded the victim into the backseat of Santiago’s vehicle and drove to his home where he allegedly informed his mother Annette Santiago of what happened.
Annette reportedly then discussed what to do with the body before telling her son to “Put that body back where you hit it,” according to the affidavit of probable cause. “Put it on the floor.”
That’s when Santiago drove back out to the scene.
Santiago’s father who is a Newark police lieutenant, eventually contacted police and informed them that his son had been in an accident.
When authorities arrived at the scene, they found blood on Santiago’s shirt and the victim’s body in the back of Santiago’s vehicle.
The affidavit wrote in the report that Santiago appeared to be drunk and that he expressed anger that his father called the police.
Santiago has been charged with leaving the scene of crash resulting in death, endangering an injured victim, desecrating/moving human remains, hindering one’s own apprehension, conspiracy to hinder prosecution, tampering with physical evidence, obstructing the administration of law, and two counts of official misconduct.
Annette Santiago and Guzman were both charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains, hindering apprehension, and conspiracy to hinder apprehension and tamper with physical evidence. In addition to reckless vehicular homicide and desecrating human remains.
All three suspects have been placed on a conditional release.