On September 14, 2020, at 10:35 p.m., police investigated an incident at a residence in Constitution involving a man who was found outside of his home unconscious.
The man was later identified as Abraham Ortiz. Police believe that 70-year-old Abraham Ortiz and his nephew Nesto Monell were involved in an argument and Monell followed Ortiz to his residence and attacked him.
As a result of the attack, Ortiz sustained a severe head injury. He was airlifted to Miami, Florida, Jackson Memorial Hospital where he remained under medical care until he passed away from his injuries on January 18, 2022.
According to police, Monell fled the territory and was detained in Boston, Mass., on the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department warrant. Monell reportedly fought extradition back to the territory and a governor’s warrant was obtained and served to the authorities in Boston, Mass.
He was turned over to the V.I. Police Department’s contingent at an extradition hearing on June 22, and returned to St. Croix to face charges related to the death of Ortiz. The 42-year-old Monell is charged with Murder in the First Degree, Assault 3rd DV, Carrying or using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime. The bail is set at 1,000,000 as per the warrant.
In a release, St. Croix Chief Detective, Lt. Naomi Joseph said, “This case is proof that when everyone plays their part, we are able to bring closure and justice to the victims and their families. This world is small, and we will travel to the end of the earth to get you.”