Fayetteville native's death in Asheville ruled homicide - WRBL

Fayetteville native's death in Asheville ruled homicide

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

A Fayetteville native's suspicious death in Asheville has now been ruled a homicide.

Christopher Raymond Ortega, 35, was found dead Oct. 28 in his apartment. Sgt. Dave Romick said police considered the death suspicious and have since consulted the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Autopsy results show Ortega died by asphyxiation. Police have not said what caused the asphyxiation.

His mother Marianne Ortega who still lives in Fayetteville said she hopes the new finding will help police fully investigate her son's death. She also hopes a $2,500 reward will motivate anyone with information to come forward.

"They don't have a whole lot of information. I don't think they have a whole lot of suspects or anything,
 she said. "So far everything has come up pretty negative. That's where they're hoping this 25-hundred dollars will bring out someone that may have seen some thing."

Ortega said her son graduated from Douglas Byrd High School and UNC-Pembroke. She said he served a year in the Peace Corps before moving to Asheville in 2009.

He was an artist who showing and selling some of his work at local art exhibits she said. She said some people in Fayetteville who knew her son are now planning an exhibition of his work.

"We're just trying to put it all together as best we can and hoping and praying that this will show up something and that the police will be able to find something through this," Ortega said.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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