Bronx Teen Stabbed And Burned Alive Was Dating Suspected Killer’s 15-Year-Old Sister
The teenager who was burned alive in the Bronx this week had been dating his alleged killer’s 15-year-old sister, law enforcement sources have said.
Winston Ortiz, 18, was stabbed three times before being doused with gasoline and set alight on the fifth floor of an apartment building on Wednesday afternoon, August 12.
The brother of Ortiz’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Adones Betances, who has been charged with murder and manslaughter, was said to be enraged by the age gap between the victim and his sister.
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Detectives believed the two men had argued about Ortiz’s relationship with Betances’ sister, a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The New York Times.
Sources said Bentances had walked into the building just 10 minutes before Ortiz before carrying out the attack, with two neighbours in the building attempting to put out the flames using buckets of water before emergency services arrived.
Ortiz reportedly identified his killer to police at the scene of the attack before being rushed to Harlem Hospital with three stab wounds – one in his chest and two in his back – and burns across more than 90% of his body. He died in hospital.
‘I still can’t believe it,’ Ortiz’s younger brother, 17-year-old Wilmer, told the New York Post. ‘What goes through your mind to do something like that?’
Wilmer confirmed his brother had been in a relationship with the suspect’s younger sister, but said she had ended things in recent days. So when he heard from her on Wednesday afternoon asking to meet up, Ortiz went.
Detectives are now looking into whether the 18-year-old was being lured to his death, which was so horrific neighbours described it as like something out of a horror movie.
‘When he was dying, he was praying, he was screaming,’ Ortiz’s aunt Nancy Tavarez told ABC7. ‘He was probably praying, ‘God forgive him for what he’s doing to me’.’
Betances was arrested on Thursday evening, and as he was marched out of the 44th Precinct’s station in handcuffs, he could be heard telling reporters, ‘I was framed.’
On Friday, Betances appeared before a Bronx criminal court judge, with Ortiz’s mother said to be inconsolable after seeing the suspect face to face for the first time.
Court officers were careful to keep the two families apart, with the suspect’s mother reportedly furious over what she claimed was Ortiz’s inappropriate relationship with her daughter.
Now, the victim’s devastated family is pleading for justice and has set up a GoFundMe page, which has raised almost $40,000 at the time of writing.
Our thoughts are with Winston’s loved ones at this difficult time. Rest in peace.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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