A deputy from the Weld County Sheriff's Office was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Sunday while riding her motorcycle to work, according to a news release from the Weld County Sheriff's Office.
The victim has been identified by the sheriff's office as 24-year-old Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz.
The crash occurred north of Greeley at the intersections of Weld County Road 37 and AA Street, at about 5:31 PM. The deputy was reportedly traveling southbound on CR 37 and the suspect was driving westbound on AA Street.
"The Ford Van proceeded from a stop sign at the intersection into the path of the motorcycle; the motorcycle collided its front with the passenger side of the van, causing the motorcycle to catch fire. The female motorcycle rider was declared deceased on scene," Colorado State Patrol (CSP) officials said in a statement on Monday.
The driver of the van, suspected to be 36-year-old Octavio Gonzalez-Garcia (pictured below), fled the scene of the crash on foot. According to the sheriff's office, evidence found inside of the suspect's vehicle suggests that he is residing in the United States illegally.
"Gonzalez-Garcia made no attempt to provide Alexis aid despite her obvious injuries. Instead, he ran away like a coward and hid in a nearby cornfield. Despite the tireless efforts of your deputies, including three K9 handlers and a drone pilot, and the assistance of the Colorado State Patrol, Eaton Fire, the Greeley Police Department and the Denver Police Department, which sent its helicopter Air 1 to assist with the search, Gonzalez-Garcia avoided capture," Sheriff Steve Reams said.
CSP investigators are seeking help from the public to find Gonzalez-Garcia and are encouraging him to turn himself in.
"He is described as a Latino male, 5’7”, heavier build, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. He is last known to have resided in the Greeley area," CSP said.
Residents that live in the Colorado 392 corridor are encouraged to check their security cameras for footage of any suspicious people between the hours of 5:30 PM Sunday and 2 AM on Monday.
Anyone with information regarding this incident are asked to contact detectives at 303-239-4501, and reference case #3A221639.
Hein-Nutz's, who was just a week away from her 25th birthday, is remembered as a kind and dedicated officer, Sheriff Reams said.
"Alexis was a hard worker, a caring deputy, and a positive force for our agency. I share in my deputies’ grief and in their anger over her senseless and tragic passing. But we are a family, and we will get through this painful event together," he said.
The sheriff's office will be accepting in-person donations to help Hein-Nutz's family during this difficult time.
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