Couple arrested in girl's hit-and-run death

- Law enforcement officials announced the arrest Tuesday of a couple from Newark, New Jersey in connection with the deadly hit-and-run of a girl walking to school with her mother in West New York.

Fabian P. Rodriguez, 33, and his girlfriend, Johana P. Rosas-Alvarez, 26, were arrested earlier Tuesday and were scheduled to appear at the Hudson County Courthouse on Wednesday.

The were being held without bail, reported

Sheyla Pichardo, 7, and her mother were struck by a late model, black Chevy Tahoe SUV allegedly driven by Rodriguez Monday at about 8 a.m. in the area of 62nd St. and Van Buren Pl. 

Rodriguez is accused of fleeing the scene after getting out of the vehicle and seeing the child stuck and injured under a wheel, said police.

Rosa-Alvarez, who owns the car but was not in it at the time of the hit-and-run, allegedly reported the vehicle stolen to police in Hillside about 40 minutes after the accident, reported

Authorities used the license plate number visible in security camera footage to trace the car to the couple's home.

Authorities said at an afternoon news conference that the move was likely a cover-up. Hillside police have charged them with filing false police reports.

Rodriguez is also charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a fatality, knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that caused bodily harm, and hindering apprehension.

Rosa-Alvarez was charged with hindering apprehension.


Pichardo's mother, who was also injured, was taken to Palisades Medical Center, treated and reportedly released. 

A day earlier, an off-duty New York City police officer was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on the NJ Turnpike near Elizabeth.

Hours later, State Police said they had identified a suspect.

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