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Woman found dead beside car on highway off-ramp in Peoria

DPS troopers were called to the southbound off-ramp of State Route 101 at Peoria for reports that a woman was lying beside a vehicle parked on the ramp.

PEORIA, Ariz. — A woman, later identified as 33-year-old Nicole Cortez, was found dead beside her vehicle on an off-ramp to Peoria on Dec. 19 following a hit-and-run, a spokesman with the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

On the morning of Dec. 19 at about 2:40 a.m., DPS troopers were called to the southbound SR 101 off-ramp to Peoria for reports that a woman was lying in the roadway.

There, troopers found Cortez lying deceased beside a gold-colored Mitsubishi Gallant that had been parked in the middle of the off-ramp.

Authorities said that the vehicle had its hazard lights on, and its doors were open.

DPS officials are considering this as a hit-and-run case.

DPS said Monday that the suspect had been arrested and taken into custody.

Authorities ask that anyone with information call DPS at 602-223-2212.

This is a developing story. Stay with 12News for more updates.

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Anyone who has information on a crime or recognizes a suspect described by the program is asked to call 480-948-6377, go to the program's website online or download the Silent Witness app to provide a tip. The identity of anyone who submits a tip is kept anonymous. 

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