Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 11-242

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • July 18, 2011
    • Contact Person:
    • Debbie Carter : dcarter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8059

    A Dispute Over Child Support Ends In Murder

    Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Detectives make an arrest in March homicide.
    • Sunday
    • July 17, 2011
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • 13820 Dunwoody Drive
    • Spring Hill, FL

    Victim:

    Ignacio David Aponte-Muriel
    DOB: 1-22-77
    12343 Witheridge Drive
    Tampa, FL

    Suspect:


    Samuel Ortiz-Lopez
    DOB: 10-27-78
    13820 Dunwoody Drive
    Spring Hill, FL

    Charge:

    First Degree Murder with a Firearm

    Details:
     

    On March 23, 2011 several arguments occurred over the telephone with the victim and defendant between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in reference to an ongoing child support dispute involving the defendant's girlfriend and the victim (ex-boyfriend).

    On March 23, 2011 at approximately 9:09 p.m., the defendant traveled to the victim's residence located at 12343 Witheridge Drive in Tampa to confront the victim. The defendant arrived in front of the victim's residence and was in possession of a firearm. Upon making contact with the victim, the defendant shot the victim several times which resulted in his death. The defendant then fled the scene in a gray 2 door vehicle and later arrived at his residence in Spring Hill, Fl. at approximately 9:50 p.m.

    On March 23, 2011 at approximately 9:10 p.m., the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received a 911 emergency call in reference to a male who was shot multiple times and lying outside of the complainant's residence located at 12346 Witheridge Drive. The complainant stated that prior to call 911 he observed the victim at the drivers side window of a small gray 2 door vehicle then heard gunshots while inside his residence. After the gunshots he observed the victim running across the front yard of his residence and the suspect fleeing the scene. Upon arrival of deputies, the victim was discovered deceased from apparent gunshot wounds in the side yard of the complainant's residence.

    Upon identifying and interviewing the victim's sister, it was revealed that she was involved in an active conversation on the phone with the victim on March 23, 2011 at approximately 9:10 p.m. when the victim stated he had been in a verbal argument with Samuel Lopez. The victim also advised that the defendant had threatened to come to his house and kill him. During the conversation, the victim stated that Samuel had just arrived at his house. The victim's sister remained on the open phone line while this occurred. During this time, the victim's sister heard multiple gunshots over the phone and she heard another male individual, not the victim, yelling profanities in Spanish.

    The victim's phone was located at the incident scene, in close proximity of the victim. Upon looking at the victim's cell phone call detail, it confirmed the victim had been on an active call with his sister, thus confirming her statements. During further investigation of the victim's cell phone, it was determined there were several calls made between the defendant and the victim between the aforementioned times of 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on March 23, 2011. These findings also confirmed statements made by the victim to his sister about the victim being in a verbal argument with the defendant.

    During the conversation it was confirmed through witness interviews that the victim was in a verbal confrontation over the telephone with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend (Samuel Lopez) in reference to an ongoing child support dispute. It was also determined through investigation that the victim had contacted friends and family and stated he had been in a verbal argument with the defendant. The victim also advised friends and family that the defendant stated he was coming over to the victim's house to kill him.

    On March 24, 2011 the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy of the victim and determined his manner of death to be a homicide as a result of gunshot wound to his back and perforation of his lung.

    During the interview with a witness, she confirmed that a verbal argument occurred on the telephone between the victim and the defendant on March 23, 2011 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in reference to an on dispute. She also stated several calls were made between the victim and the defendant during the aforementioned times during this dispute.

    Subsequent to a court authorized search warrant at the defendants residence, a U-Haul Self Storage receipt was located within the residence and linked the defendant to having storage space at this location (5404 West Waters Avenue, Tampa) which is approximately 2.9 miles from the homicide scene.

    Upon further investigation, it was determined through surveillance footage (provided by U-Haul) depicts the defendant arriving at the U-Haul storage facility on March 23, 2011 at approximately 8:03 p.m. and obtaining a gray 2 door vehicle which matched the suspect vehicle description provided by the complainant. The surveillance footage further depicts the defendant leaving the storage facility in the suspect vehicle as the sole occupant at approximately 8:21 p.m. (approximately 50 minutes prior to the homicide)

    The defendant was identified by DSHMV database photo as the person that committed the crime.

    A warrant was issued for his arrest and detectives located him today in Spring Hill, Florida where he was taken into custody.

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