Man whose SUV was set on fire in Brandon found dead in Western New York


Samuel Ortiz. (Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A body found in Western New York has been identified as that of a missing man whose SUV was found engulfed in flames in Brandon.

Our sister station WROC says 39-year-old Samuel Ortiz was found dead inside of a garage in Lakeview Park in Rochester on Saturday.

Rochester police detectives responded to the vacant home after the landlord reported smelling a foul order. Police say Ortiz’s body was badly decomposed.

Ortiz disappeared in Rochester in the early hours of July 6. On July 9, his SUV was located on Russell Lane in Brandon. It had been set on fire.

The Rochester Police Major Crimes Unit has continued to work closely with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said the agency is ready to provide any assistance needed.

A spokesman with the police department had no further comment when contacted by 8 On Your Side.

Those who saw Ortiz or his vehicle between July 7 and July 9 are being asked to call 911.

His brother spoke to WROC last week.

“He was a great man. Hardworking man, truthful, honest, loyal, family, everything you want as a brother. You know, perfect brother, perfect uncle, perfect father,” he said.

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