NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have made an arrest in the brutal murder of a Bronx teenager. Investigators say he was stabbed and set on fire near his home.
Adones Betances has been charged with murder and manslaughter. Police sources said they believe the motive was some kind of dispute over the victim’s girlfriend, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Thursday.
It took less than 24 hours for police to arrest 22-year-old Betances. He was led out of the 44th Precinct in handcuffs.
The Bronx man is accused of stabbing 18-year-old Winston Ortiz three times and then setting his body on fire, eliciting screams described like something from a horror movie.
The killing left Ortiz’s neighbors stunned.
“We never have problem. I don’t know. It’s a surprise,” Pedro Caro said, adding when asked if Ortiz was a good kid, “Excellent. Excellent.”
“The son was amazing. I mean, it’s devastating. I can’t even imagine the pain the family must be going through,” another neighbor said.
Investigators said the brutal crime happened Wednesday afternoon in the fifth-floor hallway of an apartment building on Woodycrest Avenue in the Highbridge section of the borough.
Sources told Grymes a resident who initially heard Ortiz screaming was able to put out the fire, but the teen later died at the hospital.
Ortiz lived right around the corner with his parents and two younger brothers.
Neighbors, some who did not want to be identified, called them a beautiful, Christian family.
“He was going to college this year. The parents are church goers, never got involved with anyone or anything. They just came home, went to work,” a neighbor said.
“They don’t go outside by themselves. They’re always together — school, bible, back home, that’s it,” Brenda Burke added. “They was a close-knit family. They was good. They didn’t bother nobody.”
A relative who started a GoFundMe page for the Ortiz family wrote in part, “Winston Ortiz was loved by all who came to know him. He was active in his church and a role model for all of his younger brothers and cousins. He was bound for greatness. Please lift our family in prayer during this difficult time.”
The relative also wrote that Ortiz was going to see a friend when he was killed.
The suspect is facing murder and manslaughter charges
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.