Greeley, CO – Weld County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz was killed by a hit-and-run driver while on her way to work on Sunday.
The 24-year-old deputy was riding her motorcycle to work on Sept. 18 when an illegal immigrant identified as Octavio Gonzalez-Garcia crashed into her, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said in a press release on Monday.
The collision occurred near the intersection of Weld County Road 37 and AA Street, according to The Denver Post.
Sheriff Reams said evidence left at the scene indicated the suspect was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
He said investigators also located “a falsified Green Card and a fake Social Security Card” from the suspect’s wrecked vehicle.
“Gonzalez-Garcia made no attempt to provide Alexis aid despite her obvious injuries,” Sheriff Reams wrote. “Instead, he ran away like a coward and hid in a nearby cornfield.”
Deputy Hein-Nutz did not survive.
The WCSO immediately launched a search for the suspect, who was described as a “slightly heavy-set Latino man” estimated to be in his late 30s or early 40s, according to the sheriff.
“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 Reams said.
He urged anyone with information about the fatal crash to contact police immediately.
“We are confident we will catch Gonzalez-Garcia with your help,” Sheriff Reams said. “For now, we ask the public to give the Hein-Nutz family and our deputies space to grieve.”
Gonzalez-Garcia was apprehended in Fort Collins at approximately 10:15 p.m. on Monday, the WCSO said in a press release on Tuesday.
He has been charged with careless driving resulting in death and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
Gonzalez-Garcia was scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Sept. 20.
The Colorado State Parole is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal crash.
Deputy Hein-Nutz was just one week shy of her 25th birthday when she was killed.
She joined the WCSO as a detention deputy in November of 2018.
“After many years of dreaming of being in law enforcement, I can finally say I am officially following my dreams,” she wrote in a Facebook post after graduating from the jail academy, according to Sheriff Reams. “This is only the first stepping-stone to a brighter future. Here is to a better life and doing what I was meant to do.”
The Bismarck, North Dakota native became a WCSO deputy at the age of 21.
“Alexis was a hard worker, a caring deputy and a positive force for our agency,” Sheriff Reams wrote. “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.”
Please keep the family of 24 y/o Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz in your thoughts and prayers. 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/EuvozabU28
— Northern News Net (@NorthernNewsNet) September 19, 2022
It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of Weld County Sheriff's Office Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz. Alexis was killed yesterday in a hit and run crash north of Greeley on her way to work.
Attached is a statement from Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams. pic.twitter.com/OMny5Mp1j1
— Weld County Sheriff (@WeldSheriff) September 19, 2022
SAD NEW INFO: A Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputy, 23-year-old Alexis Hein-Nutz, was killed in a hit-and-run, by a man who’s living in the country illegally. This was not a line of duty death, nonetheless, heartbreaking for a state stricken by one too many fallen officers. pic.twitter.com/kxJ9IfWqCs
— Joshua Short (@JoshuaShortTV) September 19, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Weld County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.