Murder arrest made in deadly Rochester missing person case involving Florida car fire


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester police announced a murder arrest Thursday, almost exactly one year after a missing person was found dead in a garage on Lakeview Park in the city.

Police announced that Kimberly Jones, 28, was charged with second degree murder, first degree robbery, first degree kidnapping and two counts of fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Police say Lake Section officer discovered the body of Samuel Ortiz in a garage on Lakeview Park on the afternoon of July 13, 2019. Ortiz was the focus of a missing person investigation when his body was found — he was last seen on July 7, 2019.

Ortiz’s vehicle was later located in Brandon Florida, engulfed in flames, on July 9, 2019.

A criminal complaint alleges Jones acted with another person in abducting, assaulting, and restraining Ortiz in a manner which ultimately led to his death. Police allege that during the abduction, Jones stole property belonging to Ortiz.

Police say after the murder, robbery, and kidnapping, Jones fled to Florida. Officials say video evidence showed Jones in possession of Ortiz’ property after he was murdered.

MORE | Police looking for man in Florida who may have information in death of Rochester man

Rochester police say Tampa officers came across Jones while performing a routine check at a “problem location” within their jurisdiction. Upon running her name for warrants, Tampa police learned she had an outstanding arrest warrant in New York state for parole absconding. She was then taken into custody and extradited back to New York where she remained in custody until Thursday morning.

Jones was arraigned in Rochester City Court Friday morning. She pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held on no bail, no release.

From the Rochester Police Department:

“The investigation into the brutal kidnapping and murder of Samuel Ortiz was extremely complex, lengthy and meticulous. It spanned across many states between Rochester and the State of Florida. The arrest of Kimberly Jones is the result of the hard work of the Rochester Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit and Patrol Section Investigators, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Parole Officers assigned to the Rochester Region as well as our local and Federal Law Enforcement partners to include:

  • Monroe County Crime Analysis Center
  • New York State Police
  • Monroeville Pennsylvania Police Department
  • Rowan County Sheriff’s Office North Carolina
  • Hillsborough County Florida Sheriff’s Office
  • State of Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Tampa Bay Florida Police Department
  • FBI Rochester Violent Crimes Task Force
  • United States Marshals Regional Violent Felony Fugitive Task Force

The Rochester Police Department is grateful for the cooperation of our Local & Federal Law Enforcement partners, as well as those in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida. It was the collaborative effort from members of all the agencies that resulted in today’s charging of Kimberly Jones.”

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