Man charged in officer's hit-and-run death remains in jail

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

Henry County Police Officer Elgin Daniel, 53, died in a hit-and-run crash. He served under the department for two years after 26 years with the DeKalb County Police Department.

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - The man charged with the hit-and-run death of a Henry County police officer and injury of another man will remain in jail without bond.

Police charged 53-year-old Reuben Marin-Garibay with the accident that took the life of Officer Elgin Daniel and injured John Cook. Both men were helping a stranded motorist fill up his empty gas tank along Highway 138 Monday night when the accident happened.

Henry County detectives said they had little to go on at the initial scene, but through tips from the public and digging, they were able to piece together evidence that pointed to Garibay.

In the hours after the crash, police used a mirror broken off the suspect's truck to first identify the vehicle as a Ford F-350 and then put out that information to the general public in hopes it would generate a leads, which it did.

"It was thanks to a very good tip from someone from the public who was familiar with the situation and who encountered our suspect and picked up on some red flags," said Henry County Police Maj. Jason Bolton.

Bolton said the tip led them to Garibay's Stockbridge home. Police Chief Keith Nichols was there when the tip came in, and he said he ordered a surveillance of Garibay's house. They said they found an F-350 flatbed truck in the driveway.

"Our units went out and did surveillance, and they said the driver's side mirror was missing, I thought that was the 'ah hah' moment," said Nichols.

Bolton said Garibay arrived home shortly afterwards and agreed to come down to police headquarters as detectives searched the property. They later arrested Garibay and charged him with the crime. Nichols said now that the case is solved, they have to refocus and work on planning Daniel's funeral.

"It's a little different now that the investigation is behind us," said Nichols. "Now it's weighing more heavily on our hearts than before when we were busy."

Channel 2 Action News attempted to go to Garibay's house to see if his family wanted to comment on the charges, but someone in the home unleashed a dog and ordered the crew off the property.

Garibay meanwhile remains in jail without bond until his next court appearance in December.

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