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Feb 6, 2017

Who Killed Gardenia’s John Ortiz?

John Ortiz

The body of a Gardenia resident was found before the crack of dawn between miles nineteen and twenty on the Philip Goldson. It took some time before John Ortiz could be identified and as much time for police to determine if a hit and run had caused his death or if Ortiz had been murdered. This afternoon, police concluded that the father of three was robbed and murdered. He was last seen alive on Saturday by family members, and it is believed he was on his way home to Gardenia when his life was cut short. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Around five this morning, the body of a man was found between miles nineteen and twenty on the Phillip Goldson Highway.  Forty-four year old John Ortiz was seen with cut wounds to his chin, right eye brow area as well as injury to the right side of his head and a scrape mark to his right cheek, with an apparent shoe impression made with blood. Police locked off the area and processed the scene…but was Ortiz the victim of foul play or a RTA?


Yvette Ortiz

Yvette Ortiz, Sister of Murder Victim

“The police came to us this morning and informed us that they found a body on the road and they went and identified—well my sister went and identified—and it is the person of John Ortiz, but we don’t know what is the cause of death as yet. Police said that they will get back to us and inform us what’s taking place but so far nothing.  When she got to morgue she saw that his head was swollen and there was a burst across his eye.”


Duane Moody

“Is there any reason to believe that he was attacked?”


Yvette Ortiz

“I believe so. I believe that he was attacked.”


Duane Moody

If that is the case, why would anyone want to hurt your brother?”


Yvette Ortiz

“Well I don’t know because he is a very nice person. Sometimes he has his ups and downs, but I don’t think that he deserve to be killed like that.”


It is believed that sometime before dawn today, John was en route to Gardenia when he became the victim of a robbery which ended fatally for him. He was in a relationship with Nicole Tillett, who lives near Maxboro. His niece told us that he was heading home when he was killed.


Voice of: Sherie Moss, Niece of Murder Victim

“I guess ih mi gwen home when this morning, we find out that they find ahn dead. So we noh really know weh happen; and we noh know why cause ih dah noh wah person weh really give trouble. I noh know ahn as wah person weh give trouble. With my auntie; they both live together. But she was here from last week spending the whole week with her son and us, her family. So we didn’t even see him, we didn’t even know he was coming. I don’t know why dehn attack ahn because ih dah noh wah trouble person. Ih go and sell ih thing, ih mek ih money. Ih clean yard fi wah living and ih mind my auntie. So I noh know why somebody wah attack somebody like John.”


According to Yvette, she last spoke with her brother on Saturday; he was to attend a birthday party on Sunday.


Yvette Ortiz

“I spoke with him on Saturday. He left and Sunday, he said that he was going to Belama for a birthday party. He is forty-four years old and he is an all around person.”


Duane Moody

“He is not known to give trouble with anybody?”


Yvette Ortiz

“Sometimes but most of the time he is a very humble man.”


Duane Moody

“Do you think maybe he might have known who the killer was?”


Yvette Ortiz

“Well I should think so.


According to police, one person has been detained in connection with this latest homicide. Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “Who Killed Gardenia’s John Ortiz?”

  1. Clue says:

    And if he was killed on the road at this time of night, interest should be directed to areas in Maxboro where he left at that time and the Sandhill, Gardenia area. It had to be someone I that area who knew him and saw him leave Maxboro or met him when he was close to home and knew him.

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