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DANIEL ORTIZ DEATH: Norwalk Mother Searches for Motorist who Killed Son Riding Skateboard

 

Norwalk resident Sherry Ortiz holds a cell phone photo of her son Daniel Ortiz who was killed in February of this year.

Norwalk resident Sherry Ortiz holds a cell phone photo of her son Daniel Ortiz who was killed in February of this year. Randy Economy Photo.

By Brian Hews

It is a mother’s worst nightmare.

For Norwalk’s Sherry Ortiz the death of her beloved 20-year old son Daniel Ortiz just three months ago has turned her like into a “living hell.”

Saturday, February 9, 2013 is “the day my life changed forever,” Sherry told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in candid and emotional interview last week, just as millions of mothers celebrated Mother’s Day.

 

 

“The details are painful to remember, but I need to share with the community my emotions in order for justice to prevail,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz recalled the last day of her “fun and outgoing” son Daniel’s life.

“He worked all day with his brother Joe on Friday, Feb. 8th.  He was in a great mood, it was payday, and spent the evening with his brother at a local pizza eatery in Norwalk,” she said.

“Daniel came home at around 10 p.m., and he then left to visit friends nearby, I had no idea at the time that I would never see him alive again,” Sherry said.

“He gave me a kiss and told me that he would be home later.”

Daniel took his skateboard and went to meet friends to play video games at a nearby home by their families.  Sherry went to bed at around 10:20 and woke up at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning to an empty house.

“I woke up and grabbed a cup of coffee and I noticed he wasn’t in his room, and he hadn’t been home.”  That was unusual behavior according to Sherry.

“He had never stayed out all night without letting me know, or at least giving me a text to tell me where he was, and when he was coming home.  At 6:10 a.m.  I called his cell phone, and it just rang and rang,” she said.  “I knew something wasn’t right.”

 

 

 

Sherry’s sisters arrived at the house at around 6:30, to spend the day together.

“My sister said that the Norwalk Sheriffs’ Department was at Studebaker Road and Foster Road and that the area was blocked off in both directions.”

Daniel Ortiz was just 20 years old when he was killed in a Norwalk collision in February.

Daniel Ortiz was just 20 years old when he was killed in a Norwalk collision in February.

“My sister said that there was a body in the street with a white sheet over it,” Sherry said. “I felt instant fear.  Daniel always came home. I ran to the corner to make sure that it wasn’t Daniel.  I was panicked.”

When she got to the barricaded area on Studebaker Road, Sherry asked a Norwalk Sheriff’s Deputy if it was her son Daniel who was involved in the situation.

“Please, tell me it is not a male Hispanic around 20 years of age,” she asked.

Sherry said the officer did not give her any specific information. “I started to cry. I told the Deputy that my son didn’t come home last night,”

“Then the officer asked me if my son had a skateboard, and I said yes.”

Sherry then asked the Deputy if she could see the skateboard, because it had a distinct narrow shaped board and was colored bright purple.

Officers then pulled the half cracked skateboard out of the back of a patrol car to show Sherry, and confirmed that it was indeed Daniel’s.

“I just began shaking uncontrollably.  I think I even collapsed to the ground. It was my worst fear,” Sherry said.

Daniel was carrying just his bankcard and his cell phone in his pocket and did not have a wallet on him at the time of the fatal accident.  His shoes had been knocked off him due to the impact of the crash.

“Coast Hospital was just feet away from where Daniel died, and no one could help him,” Sherry said.

She believes that Daniel was walking across the street in a marked cross walk when he was struck down.

Eventually the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Officer determined that Daniel suffered “multiple blunt trauma with internal bleeding.”

 

 

 

He also had two broken wrists and a broken leg.

“I am thinking that Daniel saw the car coming, had his skateboard in his hand, and threw his arms out in order to stop the car from hitting him,” Sherry Ortiz continued.

Investigators with the Norwalk Sheriff’s Department believes that the person or person’s responsible for the death of Daniel Ortiz was driving a 2003 to 2006 Nissan Titan Pickup Truck, dark blue in color, with severe front damage.

After Daniel’s death, the Ortiz family had him cremated and a public memorial was held at Chapel of Memories.

More than 400 people attended the emotional ceremony.

“I had no idea how loved my son was, and his Memorial service attracted all different kinds of people from all walks of life,” she said.

“Daniel knew all different types of people, he reached out to everyone. He was a free Spirit, full of life,” she recalled.

A small reward fund has been established to help find Daniel’s killer.  So far, $5,000 has been collected from different friends and family members.

Sherry is hoping that Norwalk city officials can help assist her and her family to bring attention to the matter.

An email account called [email protected] has been established for anyone with a solid tip in the case.

The Ortiz family also wants to remind community members that they can call the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station at 562 863-871 for any additional tips.

 

 

“Daniel grew up in Norwalk; he went to Nuffer Elementary, Los Alios, Corvallis, and Norwalk High School.  He loved sports, and even played T-Ball as a youngster in our local parks,” Sherry told LCCN.

“He was just starting his life as an adult, and was working as a technician for a company that specialized in security surveillance cameras,” she said.

Daniel Ortiz also worked side by side with his older brother Joe, age 28.  “Joe is beyond devastated.”

The Ortiz family also resided in Cerritos for a two year period. “Daniel fell behind in classes, but he never gave up on school or his dream for a successful future. I was very proud of him and loved him with all my heart,” Sherry said.

“He was a good kid.  He was just starting his life. He didn’t deserve to die this way.”

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