Valencia murder suspect heads to jury trial

Crime scene tape marks the perimeter of a murder investigation in Valencia on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The Valencia man suspected of strangling his boyfriend to death in 2017 has received a date for his jury trial to begin.

Christian Ortiz, 24, is charged with murder in the death of Brayan Rodriguez, whose body was found inside a closet in a house on the 23600 block of Via Valer, near Valencia Glen Park, on Sept. 24, 2017.

Investigators have said they believe Ortiz and Rodriguez, who was 20 years old at the time of his murder, were in a relationship when Rodriguez was reported by his family to have been missing Sept. 22, 2017.

A number of search parties were dispatched throughout the weekend in search of Rodriguez, some of which were attended by Ortiz himself, but the body was ultimately found a few days later.

Ortiz was arrested three days later in connection to the murder. His trial has been a long process, with a number of delays and postponements.

In October 2018, after Ortiz’s preliminary hearing was postponed four times, a judge ruled that Ortiz should stand trial for the murder. Ortiz is now scheduled for his first day of his jury trial on Aug. 4.

Ortiz remains in custody in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility with bail set at $2 million.

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