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Man accused of killing 2 girls in DUI crash being investigated by ICE

Published: Jun. 23, 2016 at 10:46 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONTOWN, KY (WAVE) - "He stopped, looked back and then took off," Jeffersontown Police Chief Ken Hatmaker recalled a witness saying. 

That's what he believes Juan Carlos Ortega Santos, 26, did after hitting and killing two young girls while he was allegedly driving drunk Tuesday around 9 p.m. 

The crash happened on Taylorsville Road near Farrish Drive. Two girls, Tyeisha Lacy, 16, and Alena Clay, 10, died after being hit while standing in the bike lane. 

"I saw the car that night and I've reviewed the pic since and the front of the car was demolished. The bumper was gone, drug under the car," Hatmaker said. 

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Police confirmed Santos did not have a license, any other form of identification, insurance and was in the country illegally. He was more than two times the legal limit. Police said he stated he did not know he had hit something. An officer caught up to Santos not far from the scene. He was still in the driver's seat. 

They also said he worked at Wild Eggs on Dutchmans Lane. They are not sure if he worked at Senior Iguanas before. 

"How did he obtain that job if he is not here legally?" WAVE 3 News asked during the press conference. 

"You are asking the wrong person," Hatmaker said. "That would be a question for Wild Eggs ma'am. It does raise concerns though, it does raise concerns."

The feds are now probing too. 

ICE has now placed a detainer on Santos. Even if he posts his $250,000 bond, police said, the only place he can head to is yet another facility to await his trial.

Gail Montenegro, the Public Affairs Officer for Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a statement that read:

"On June 22, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed an immigration detainer with Louisville (Kentucky) Metro Corrections on Juan Carlos Ortega-Santos, 26, from Mexico, following his arrest on local criminal charges. The detainer requests that Mr. Ortega-Santos be turned over to ICE upon his release from local custody. ICE remains focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes threats to national security, public safety and border security."

"We do want to get justice for these two families," Hatmaker said. 

Santos may face more federal charges if authorities determine he was using a fake ID or social security number. 

Wednesday during his arraignment Santos pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder. He has been assigned a public defender. 

In the meantime, police said two families are hurting because of a decision to drink and drink and drive.

"You've got a 16-year-old and 10-year-old here that never got to taste life," Hatmaker said.

Wild Eggs posted the following statement on their Facebook page Thursday afternoon:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Tyeisha Lacy and Alena Clay as they are going through this difficult time.

We value your patronage and can assure you we do what is required by state and federal guidelines when hiring.

Juan Carlos presented proper documentation to us when hired. If he was in the country illegally we certainly were not aware of it."

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.