Suspect in NE Portland apartment killing, sex assaults pleads not guilty

Murder, rape suspect pleads not guily

PORTLAND, Ore. – A suspect in the killing of a man at a Northeast Portland apartment earlier this week was arrested Friday night.

Alex Rico Ortiz, 33, is also a suspect in two sexual assaults, including one that occurred the same day as the homicide.

Ortiz was arrested at a home in Hillsboro Friday night. He was taken into custody without incident and was lodged into the Multnomah County Jail. He pleaded not guilty on Monday morning and will be back in court on March 14.

Police say Ortiz is a registered sex offender and a career criminal.

Portland police spokesman Sgt. Christopher Burley told KGW Friday morning that detectives from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Portland Police Bureau are also investigating whether Ortiz is connected to a sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Milwaukie.

On Feb. 27, officers found Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas, 59, and his Jack Russel Terrier named Max dead in an apartment on Northeast Sandy Boulevard. The state medical examiner ruled Villegas’ death a homicide.

Background: Homicide victim, dog found dead in NE Portland apartment

Detectives learned that Ortiz was the suspect in a sexual assault at a Red Roof Inn near Villegas’ apartment building. Police said Ortiz ran from the scene after officers were called to investigate.

"At this point, we don't know where the suspect might be," said Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland police. "We're very concerned for community safety. He's a very dangerous man based on this investigation and we're looking for any tips from the public that may help."

Ortiz is also a suspect in a sexual assault that occurred in Hillsboro last month.

Police did not elaborate on what led to Ortiz’s alleged encounter and killing of Villegas but said in a news release that “probable cause exists” to arrest him for the Portland homicide and sexual assault.

Ortiz and Villegas did not know each other, according to police.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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