Rochester, New York — On Thursday two people were convicted for the kidnap and murder of a Rochester man in 2019.
A 44-year-old David Gardner and 29-year-old Kimberly Jones were found guilty of murder, kidnapping, robbery, and the criminal possession of the stolen property in connection to the death of Samuel Ortiz, according to Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
On July 7, 2019, Ortiz was reported missing by his family, and two days later his vehicle was found completely engulfed in flames in Florida. The body of Ortiz was then found decomposed in a Rochester garage on July 13, 2019.
Jones was arrested in Tampa later that month and extradited to New York. Gardner was arrested in North Carolina that August. Both Ortiz and Gardner were arrested for parole absconding.
According to prosecutors, they abducted, robbed, and murdered Ortiz before fleeing the state.
“This double conviction for the brutal kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Samuel Ortiz finally brings a conclusion to this horrific crime that took place nearly three years ago,” said Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles. “The Rochester Police Department conducted an exhaustive and complex investigation that took place in multiple states with many agencies. This meticulous investigation is the reason that the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office was able to secure justice for Mr. Ortiz’s murder. Both David Gardner and Kimberly Jones are best served in the New York State Department of Corrections, where they can no longer cause violence against members of our community.”
“David Gardner and Kimberly Jones were both parolees when they violently took Samuel Ortiz’s life before fleeing the state,” said District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “Both defendants’ history proves that they will only continue to be a danger to society. It is our hope that Samuel Ortiz’s loved ones can find justice in these convictions as they continue to mourn his death. Our community will be safer after this conviction of this tragedy.”
Next month, Gardner and Ortiz are scheduled to be sentenced.