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Missing Man: Jose Ortiz - CT - 12/28/2005

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Missing Adult - Jose Ortiz

Posted Image

DOB: 02/04/86

Gender: Male

Race: Hispanic

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 140 lbs.

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Brown

Jose Ortiz has been missing since 28 December 2005.

If you have any information about his disappearance, please call the New Haven Police at 203-946-6316.

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Adult missing persons in Connecticut: Advocate says police aren't doing enough

Published: Sunday, December 18, 2011; Last Updated: Sunday, December 18, 2011 8:55 AM EST

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo, Investigations Editor

Lisa Calvo was 40 years old and homeless when she was last seen in 2005 in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.

Nineteen-year-old Jose Ortiz was abducted while riding his bicycle on Dec. 28, 2005, in New Haven, and hasn’t been seen since.

Evelyn Frisco of New Haven had a court appearance in 2004, then disappeared.

Barbara Jean Monaco of Derby vanished in August 1978 at the age of 18 while vacationing in Virginia Beach, Va. She has never been found and is believed to have been murdered.

They are just a few of the state’s missing, people who have left behind families mourning their absence and questioning what happened to them.

To try to address the problem and solve the mysteries surrounding missing residents’ disappearances, State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz plans to propose the creation of a statewide missing persons unit to the legislature.

“We need a missing persons unit for the whole state devoted to working on these cases,” Cruz said. “A lot of police departments have had to cut back. Bigger cities have a lot of unsolved murders, so they are under a lot of pressure. I think having a missing persons unit for the state, a centralized investigative unit, would help.”

Families seek more help

Cheshire resident Janice Smolinski’s son, William Smolinski Jr. of Waterbury, disappeared Aug. 24, 2004, at the age of 31, and police say they believe he was murdered. Janice Smolinski, who has become an advocate for the missing, said she believes having a state missing persons unit would be “very helpful.”

“Maybe more would be done about missing people,” Smolinski said. “Hopefully, it would mean big improvements in the state. I’m happy to see the state’s victim advocate is dedicated to this cause.”

“While some adults are people who have taken off, there are many cases where something has happened to them — either they were murdered or got hurt somewhere — and police need to take it seriously,” Smolinski said.

Diane Nickerson of Naugatuck is looking for answers into the disappearance of her daughter, Carrie Ann Monroe, who had been living with her boyfriend at a Berlin hotel when she vanished about two years ago.

“I think a missing persons unit would be helpful,” said Nickerson, who broke down crying when she talked about her daughter. “It has been two years for us.”

Please read more at the link above.

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Article from January 2012

6 years after New Haven man's disappearance, his family isn’t giving up the search for answers (video)

Published: Monday, January 09, 2012

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo, Investigations Editor

NEW HAVEN — The family of Jose Ortiz, who was 19 when he was abducted six years ago, knows he was likely murdered.

They are hoping his remains will be found, and they’ll finally learn who is responsible. His relatives have issued a plea to those who know what happened to Ortiz to come forward.

His mother, Carmen Colon of Meriden, said, “I want to know what happened to my son. Please, find it in your heart to say something.

“I am no one to judge. I leave that to God. I am grateful to God for letting him live 19 years of life with me. I want to know — where is his body?”

New Haven police Lt. Julie Johnson, unit commander with the Major Crimes Unit, said Ortiz was abducted while riding his bicycle on Dec. 28, 2005, on Poplar Street, near Lombard Street.

A city firefighter saw three males force Ortiz into a silver Ford Taurus. Ortiz lived at 417 Lombard St. in New Haven with his mother at the time, and their home was near a firehouse.

The suspects are described as males between the ages of 15 and 21, according to Johnson.

“We have received many anonymous tips regarding this case indicating he has been murdered,” Johnson said.

Also, because no one has seen Ortiz and his name has never been run through any police databases, Johnson said there is a strong indication he is deceased.

“We have no evidence to verify that though,” she said. So Ortiz is classified as a missing person.

In early February 2006, police searched the area of the Valley Service Road in North Haven with the aid of a cadaver dog and helicopter, Johnson said.

“An anonymous tip was received that Ortiz had been killed and dumped off the highway in a wooded area near New Haven,” Johnson said. “Detectives searched many abandoned properties and desolate areas for evidence.”

The sixth anniversary of Ortiz’s disappearance came in December, with his grieving family still waiting for answers and justice.

“To the people who did this — please know how much I am suffering as a mother,” Colon said, in Spanish, with her family interpreting. “If it was your mother suffering, how would you feel? If you are a parent yourself, how would you feel if it were your child?”

Ortiz’s sister, Carmen Ortiz of New Haven, said, “Someone took him away from us. This can happen to any one of your family members at any time. Please help us bring whoever did this to him to justice.”

Jose Ortiz’s photograph and information about his case have been featured on a cold case prison playing card deck, which is distributed to prisoners in the state’s correctional facilities, for over a year. His case is the 10 of hearts.

“There has been at least one tip from the card,” Johnson said. “It did not provide any new information.”

When asked if there has been any recent progress in the investigation, Johnson said, “Other than the tip from the cards, there are no new leads.”

After his disappearance, police indicated to the New Haven Register that Ortiz might have been involved in drug activity, and may have ripped off drug dealers and buyers.

When asked if this is still a theory, Johnson said, “I am not confirming that.” Johnson said recently the motive is “unknown.”

“Through interviews with family and friends, there is an indication that he may have owed someone money,” Johnson said.

Ortiz’s family said they don’t think he was involved in any drug activity.

“It could have been over a girl, over money, or because they just didn’t like him,” Carmen Ortiz said. “He was quiet, and always at home.”

Danielle Cruz of Meriden, Ortiz’s sister-in-law said, “It doesn’t matter — even if he had been, he is still a person... He deserves to be looked for. He was so quiet. If he were getting into trouble, we just didn’t know. He didn’t share.”

Carmen Ortiz said her brother wanted to become a police officer one day.

Ortiz’s family feels police haven’t been trying hard enough to close his case or give them any information.

“The New Haven police, I feel, haven’t done enough, and haven’t put effort in finding my brother or looking into his case,” Carmen Ortiz said. “While I know that there are many cases open, I feel like my brother also matters and should have his voice heard.”

Carmen Ortiz said she believes the case got more attention initially, in part because the family and community had rallies on his behalf.

Now, with the case 6 years old, she said the family isn’t getting any updates from the police, and detectives don’t call them back.

Carmen Colon said the last update she received from police was a couple of years ago, when she gave police permission for Jose’s case to appear on the cold case playing cards.

According to the family, they have wanted to give police possible leads they have gotten, but police don’t respond to their messages.

Carmen Ortiz said the family hasn’t talked to detectives yet about information they have heard from people on the street. She hopes to set up a meeting with the detectives soon, she said.

“We are upset we don’t have any closure,” Carmen Ortiz said. “If he was kidnapped, the chances that he is alive are slim to none. If he isn’t alive, we want to give him the proper burial he deserves.”

Franklyn Cruz of Meriden, Jose’s brother, said he is frustrated the family hasn’t heard of any clues or information, such as if Jose’s bicycle had any fingerprints.

“We have no clue of the progress of the investigation,” Franklyn Cruz said. “There is no justice. We want to work with police — but if they aren’t doing the effort, we are about to make plans to block the whole street in front of the Police Department.”

When asked if police were able to get any evidence from his bicycle, Johnson said, “No prints were lifted, but it was identified by several friends as being the bike Jose Ortiz was riding.”

Danielle Cruz, Franklyn’s wife, said the family feels the case could have been solved long ago. “We searched and got information on our own,” Cruz said. “We have a lot of information, and police could put the whole case together. We are trying to leave it to the justice system, but it isn’t doing its part.”

The family heard at one point, for example, that Jose’s body was put in the water near a park in Bridgeport, but they said they don’t have the resources or ability to search for him, like police could.

When questioned about the family’s assertion that they have developed information, but police aren’t returning phone calls, Johnson said, “This case remains open and is in the hands of the missing person investigator.

“I cannot imagine the frustration they must feel and the closure they are desperately looking for, but we have taken all information and exhausted every possible lead in this case and continue to do so,” Johnson said.

The family may hold another rally or a march around Jose’s neighborhood to bring attention to his case if there isn’t progress soon, relatives said.

Jose Ortiz is Hispanic, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact New Haven police at 203-946-6316.

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Detectives Revisit 7 Cold Missing-Persons Cases

BY Allan Appel | APR 4, 2014 4:24 PM


The task of finding missing persons falls to Det. Sgt. Elisa Tuozzoli, who described herself on a Friday visit to her office on the third floor of police headquarters as “obsessive-compulsive” when it comes to tackling these cases.  She and her Det. Jesse Agosto, and newly minted sleuth Det. Ann Salamon in the department’s missing persons unit don’t give up.


They asked that anyone with information on the following seven disappearances contact Det. Agosto at (203) 946-6304, ext. 1307.


Below is a slightly amplified rundown, with some additional information provided by the detectives.



• Jose Ortiz was born in 1986 and has brown hair and eyes. He was reported missing on Dec. 28, 2005; there was a subsequent report that he was abducted. That happened on January 1, 2006. Sgt. Tuozzoli said he was riding his bike around Poplar and Lombard streets when a car pulled up and people grabbed him.


“There’s no description of the vehicle or the people,” said Tuozzolli.

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