Cops: Man in jail on murder charge admits to other killingby Sheryl Kornman on Nov. 07, 2008, under Local, Special
Tucson police say they have linked a slaying suspect to the killing of a second Tucson woman, whose decomposed body was found by relatives in her apartment in July.
Tucson police Sgt. Mark Robinson said Apollo Keith Ortega, 27, in jail and charged with first-degree murder in an attack on Magnolia Ortiz, 57, will be charged with murder in the death of Norma Jean Conner, 52.
Conner was found dead in her bedroom July 28. An autopsy was inconclusive. The case remained open as a “death from unknown causes,” Robinson said Thursday.
He said Ortega confessed to detectives that he killed Conner.
Ortega has been in the Pima County Jail since he was arrested Oct. 24 in the Ortiz killing and the rape and beating of a 37-year-old Tucson woman.
DNA evidence linked him to the two cases, police said.
Ortiz was killed July 16.
The rape victim was attacked July 10.
Conner’s decomposed body was found July 28 after relatives were unable to reach her and went to her apartment in the 2400 block of South Mission Road to look for her.
There were no obvious signs of trauma on the body; the residence door was locked and there was no sign of forced entry, police said.
On Aug. 1, police were called to a park on the West Side to investigate a report of public sexual indecency. Ortega was arrested and charged with public sexual indecency, indecent exposure and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He pleaded guilty on one charge in the case and was sentenced to jail.
He was required to provide a DNA sample in the case.
In October, a Tucson police crime lab criminalist matched Ortega’s DNA to evidence in the Ortiz killing and the rape, police said.
He is jailed on $1 million bail, the jail records staff said.