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Fugitive wanted for Redondo Beach murder arrested in Utah

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Thanks to an anonymous tip, Ortega was arrested in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 15.

Thanks to an anonymous tip, Ortega was arrested in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 15.

Ortega's booking photo in Utah.

Ortega’s booking photo in Utah.

Eleven months after Bobby Reynolds was shot to death on a Redondo Beach sidewalk, chief suspect Erick Julian Ortega, 28, was has been apprehended. Acting on an anonymous tip, police today located and arrested Ortega in Salt Lake City.

At a joint press conference with the F.B.I. outside the RBPD station on Tuesday morning, RBPD Chief Joe Leonardi implored anyone with information about the whereabouts of Ortega to come forward. The FBI announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a North Redondo gang member suspected in the murder.

Police received an anonymous tip the following day that a person matching Ortega’s description was working as a dishwasher at an Italian restaurant in Salt Lake City.

This morning, federal agents entered the restaurant and found the man matching Ortega’s description. According to police reports, the man refused to identify himself and possessed a photo i.d. with another name on it. Agents were able to identify Ortega by his tattoos and took him into custody.

“His tattoos were his undoing,” said RBPD Capt. Jeff Hink. “His trademark is what got him captured.”

Ortega is being held at Davis County Jail in Salt Lake City and is awaiting federal extradition to California.

“Reynolds’ wife has been notified and she is ecstatic,” Hink said. “There is reason to celebrate but we are keeping in mind that this is one piece of the puzzle. We believe there are others that were involved in the crime.”


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