Lee County Sheriff’s Office Press Release: Lehigh Man Arrested for Aggravated Animal Cruelty UPDATE #1

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At this time, this suspect has provided a couple of different aliases to law enforcement. Jose Luis Ortiz (06/21/1974) and Fernando Ortiz (08/23/1973) are the same person. Detectives are actively working to positively identify him.

To clarify, the individual arrested is still the suspect in this investigation and will still be charged with three counts of aggravated animal cruelty. This is an active investigation. Any further updates will be disseminated via a press release.

Original release:

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

“I am outraged at these violent acts against helpless animals,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “People like Ortiz, who intentionally harm animals, belong in one place: the Lee County Jail.”

On Monday, November 23, around 6:30 p.m., the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 4500 Block of 27th Street SW in Lehigh Acres in reference to an animal call.

A witness saw Jose Luis Ortiz (DOB 6/21/74) covered in blood and cleaning the remains of a duck off his back patio. She approached Ortiz, who became violent and started strangling one of his dogs.

Ortiz then grabbed a garden hose and began to drown the animal.

The witness immediately grabbed Ortiz’s other dog and ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

East District Deputies responded to the scene and made contact with Ortiz. Deputies observed that Ortiz’s back patio was soaking wet.

During their search, deputies located a deceased dog, duck, and cat inside a trashcan.

Due to the nature of the incident, a detective from the Criminal Investigations Division responded and assumed the investigation.

After a thorough investigation, the detective learned that Ortiz drowned two animals and bludgeoned the third. Ortiz was placed under arrest and charged with three counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

Detectives booked Ortiz into the Lee County Jail.

KP/20-551010