June 12, 2024

Arrest made in connection to 2019 homicide in Garden City

Garden City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Law enforcement in Garden City made an arrest on Wednesday, in connection to the homicide of Ernie Ortiz in September of 2019. 

According to the release from the Garden City Police Department, 32-year-old Samantha Jo Smith faces multiple charges for her involvement in the shooting death of Ortiz.
In September of 2019, Officers of the Garden City Police Department responded to the area of Buffalo Jones Avenue and Bancroft Street for a reported person down. When they arrived, Officers found Ortiz lying in the parking lot of the El Conquistador Restaurant with gunshot wounds. Ortiz was transported to St. Catherine Hospital and later died.
In June 2023, the Garden City Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for First-Degree Murder and Aggravated Robbery against Smith in connection with the case. The department worked with the U.S. Marshals to locate Smith as she had moved out of Kansas. On September 6, the U.S. Marshals located and arrested Smith in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The investigation remains ongoing.
*The person(s) involved has not yet been convicted of a crime and are presumed innocent. The presumption of innocence shall continue until such time that the person(s) accused may be found guilty by a court of law.*