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Redondo Beach Murder Suspect Found in Utah

FBI agents made the arrest today, days after police Chief Joe Leonardi made a plea for the public's help.

Erick Ortega's booking photo from today. Photo courtesy the Redondo Beach Police Department
Erick Ortega's booking photo from today. Photo courtesy the Redondo Beach Police Department

Originally posted at 7:14 p.m. May 15, 2014. Edited to add new photo, new details. 

A reputed Redondo Beach gang member accused of fatally shooting a man a year ago was arrested today at an Italian restaurant in Utah, where he was working as a dishwasher, police said.

FBI agents arrested Erick Julian Ortega about 11 a.m. in the Salt Lake City area, Redondo Beach police Capt. Jeff Hink said.

Ortega, 28, the subject of an FBI reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to his capture and prosecution, is suspected of involvement in the June 21, 2013, fatal shooting of Bobby Darren Reynolds, 38, who was gunned down as he left a family member's home in the 2400 block of Ralston Lane in Redondo Beach.

"Bobby Reynolds was specifically targeted," Redondo Beach police Chief Joe Leonardi said at a news conference on Tuesday. "He was shot multiple times by a suspect who approached him silently, callously, and apparently without warning from behind and shot him dead."

Ortega was charged with murder in Los Angeles County, and a state warrant was issued for his arrest on July 25, 2013. A federal arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 20 of this year after Ortega was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, the FBI reported.

Ortega's arrest came after Redondo Beach police received an anonymous tip via Nixle, Hink said.

When he was confronted by agents from the FBI's Salt Lake City office, Ortega refused to identify himself and was in possession of identification bearing his photo but someone else's name, Hink said.

The agents were able to identify him and he was arrested on the unlawful flight charge, Hink said.

Ortega was booked into the Davis County, Utah, jail and was awaiting federal extradition to California, he said.

Ortega was due to appear Friday before a federal magistrate in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, according to Laura Eimiller of the FBI's Los Angeles office.

--City News Service


Dawn Artinger May 16, 2014 at 02:38 PM
Glad they caught this murderer!
Wolfman May 16, 2014 at 08:29 PM
all these hard core gang bangers are murderers and if you have kids and family you love you had better think of them first or it can and will catch up with you

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