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Reward Upped 8 Months After Hit-and-Run Death

Omar Monroig, a bodybuilder from Butler, died after being struck by a vehicle in North Bergen.

Eight months have gone by and the relatives of Omar Monroig, a Butler man who died eight days after being struck in a hit-and-run, said they are no closer to finding the driver who caused the crash than they were in March.

The family has increased the reward offered for any information that leads to an arrest of the driver to $20,000, according to Monroig's wife, Marybell Monroig.

"Our son, Nicolas, and the family are trying to bring awareness to this case," she said. "No one has come forward with any further information in regards to this accident. My hope is this will create more leads."

Omar Monroig was 42 when he died on April 2 at Hackensack University Medical Center. He was transported to the hospital the week prior after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen.

Immediately following the incident, the North Bergen Police Department launched an "aggressive" investigation. A sketch was released of the man believed to be responsible, but no arrests were made. North Bergen police did not respond to calls for comment on the case.

Now, Marybell Monroig and Omar Monroig's brother, Jorge Monroig, are launching their own effort, in conjunction with police, to find the person responsible for the death of their loved one.

"The past seven months, we've just been trying to cope with him not being here, transitioning in our lives without him," Marybell Monroig said. "So now is where we're trying to bring awareness to this."

Jorge Monroig said he also hired a private investigator to assist police. He has launched an awareness campaign through the media to remind the public about his brother and the case.

"We're trying to get people to know that this isn't solved yet," he said.

He also said he knows police have worked hard on the case, particularly right after the incident happened. 

"The police did do a lot of things. I think they just didn't have the luck that they were hoping for," he said.

Jorge Monroig said it is also important to his parents that the driver of the vehicle be brought to justice.

"My parents, they're in their late 60s and I want them to have peace," he said.

The Monroigs lived in Butler for about seven years after moving from West Orange. They were a couple for more than 20 years. Omar Monroig inspired people through bodybuilding, according to his wife, and had many friends.

"He was just an amazing person, very strong-willed, very positive, very outgoing. He was an inspiration to a lot of people," she said.

The $20,000 reward was collected by Omar Monroig's relatives and friends. Anyone with information on the incident should contact the North Bergen Police Department at (201) 392-2100.

barbara November 19, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Miss you buddy and pray everyday with the hopes that someone comes fourth or is caught for taking you away from all of us =\ we all relive that day everyday !! The heartache and pain this cold hearted killer has caused and lives with themselves everyday knowing what they did =\ that makes it even that much harder to cope. I pray everyday for an answer , we all do !! You should be here with your Family , your wife & son suffer a great deal everyday!! God please give us a sign or a killer !! Love you always buddy and the search won't stop we will never give up on you !! Rest in peace always in our hearts!! "Move Something "

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