Reward increased in 2019 shooting death of Garden City restaurant owner
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KAKE) - Crime Stoppers in southwest Kansas is offering a $21,500 reward for information in the shooting death of a restaurant owner in 2019.
Ernie Ortiz, 69, was lying outside Garden City's El Conquistador Restaurant, which he owned, late on September 23, 2019. He had been shot multiple times and died at a local hospital.
"It is believed Ortiz was shot during a robbery after he closed the business for the night," Garden City police said.
A suspect was arrested for first-degree murder the week after Ortiz's death, but the charge was later dismissed without prejudice. The Finney County attorney's office said at the time that he could be charged in the future if new evidence came to light.
A private donation of $10,000 raised the reward to its current amount. It will be paid to the tipster if the information provided leads to an arrest and conviction.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Garden City Police Department at (620) 276-1300. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (620) 275-7807, or text their tip to Garden City PD by texting GCTIP and your tip to Tip411 (847411).
"Ernie was a lifelong resident of Garden City. An accomplished musician, his talent spanned a variety of musical genres and he was the renowned leader of Los Hermanos Ortiz y Amigos," said the group Justice for Ernie Ortiz. "Ernie was a respected businessman and community leader who also dedicated time to his church. He loved his hometown and was a big supporter of Garden City youth. The role he played in the Ortiz family was unmatched as he was often referred to as both the 'favorite' uncle and cousin. He is dearly missed."