CSAO: New York Inmate Charged in 2003 Hartford “Cold Case” homicide

New York Inmate Charged in 2003 Hartford “Cold Case” homicide

A New York prison inmate was extradited to Connecticut today and charged with murder in the 2003 shooting death of a man sitting inside a parked car in the North End of Hartford.

{Rafael Ortiz is charged with murder in the shooting death of Benjamin Baez.} RAFAEL ORTIZ, age 39, who previously lived on Wilson Street in Hartford, was arrested in New York by Hartford Police detectives assigned to the Cold Case/Shooting Task Force Bureau in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

Ortiz was charged with one count of Murder in connection with the death of Benjamin “Benji” Baez, 27, who was fatally wounded while sitting inside of a parked car in the area of 1305 Main Street in Hartford in the early morning hours of June 11, 2003.

The arrest is the result of an investigation by the Hartford Police Department in conjunction with the Cold Case/Shooting Task Force Bureau. The warrant in the case has been ordered sealed by the court.

Ortiz waived extradition from New York, where he was incarcerated for an unrelated narcotics conviction. He was returned to Connecticut and is being held on $2 million bond pending arraignment Monday in Hartford Superior Court, G.A. No. 14. The charge is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Baez’ slaying was featured in the fourth edition of the cold case playing cards produced in conjunction with the Department of Correction and sold to inmates in the Connecticut corrections system. Information on Baez’ death was described on the six of diamonds card.

The case is being prosecuted by the Cold Case/Shooting Task Force Bureau.



Content Last Modified on 10/13/2017 4:10:57 PM