Teen sought in Heiser slaying

Two Hispanic females, between 18 and 25, were seen on surveillance footage trying to shop with one of Robert Joseph Heiser's credit cards. Heiser was found dead just before 3 a.m. Feb. 16 in his Gilroy home. Police are urging anyone with information leadi

GILROY— In Gilroy’s first murder of 2015, police have charged a San Jose woman, 19, with the Feb. 16 killing of Robert Heiser, 56, in his home and are hunting for a 17-year-old girl they believe was one of as many as three accomplices.
Gabriela Bernice Ortiz was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail Feb. 20 on homicide and robbery charges. She is scheduled for a March 3 arraignment in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Morgan Hill.
Gilroy police also are seeking an arrest warrant on homicide and robbery charges for Isabella Aurora Chaidez, 17, of San Jose in connection with the homicide, a department spokesman confirmed Wednesday after court documents naming the teen were obtained by the Dispatch.
Police also are looking into whether the Gilroy murder might be connected to a similar case in Fremont in which the victim was robbed and beaten unconscious but survived and gave police a photo of a woman involved in his attack.
Investigators said they believe Ortiz and Chaidez killed Heiser “with malice and forethought” and were aided by at least two other people, according to the complaint filed with Santa Clara County Superior Court’s Judge Edward F. Lee.
When Heiser was killed, unspecified electronics, his wallet and keys also went missing and police believe Ortiz and her accomplices took property from him “against his will by means of force and fear,” the criminal complaint reads.
“We’re starting with the pieces that are making sense and that’s the two females for now,” Espinoza said Wednesday.
“The bottom line is there are people responsible for the death of Mr. Heiser and we want to do whatever we can to arrest them.”
Ortiz was seen smiling with another woman on surveillance camera footage from an East San Jose store as they tried to use Heiser’s credit card hours after his death, Espinoza said.
The other woman is a suspect in the Fremont case and matches the description of a suspected prostitute who calls herself “Krissy” and is wanted in connection with a Feb. 7 robbery and assault on a client at his residence, Fremont police said.
“The girl on the left (in those surveillance images), we believe, is likely our same ‘Krissy,’” Fremont police spokesperson Geneva Bosques said Wednesday.
“We’re not 100 percent sure but we feel confident that it is the same person. What connection she has in our case to the 19-year-old who was arrested (for Heiser’s murder) we have no idea.”
In the Fremont case, the victim initially contacted “Krissy” on a prostitution website and picked her up in San Jose before bringing her back to his Fremont home, according to Bosques. The client had a drink he believes was drugged and passed out 15 minutes later, she said.
“He woke up face down and tied up with men asking where the valuables are,” Bosques said. “They began to beat him in the head with their fists and he went unconscious. He woke up and they were gone.”
An unknown number of men kept the victim restrained, preventing him from giving their description to investigators. No suspects have been arrested and no charges have been filed in the Fremont case, according to Bosques.
After Fremont police released a picture of “Krissy,” which their victim obtained and gave to investigators, Gilroy police said the cases might be related.
“I think something similar to the Fremont case could have taken place (in Gilroy) and then it went south,” Espinoza said. “The pictures are pretty similar. I think when she gets her makeup done they look alike.”
Heiser, who lived on the 1400 block of Bay Tree Drive in Gilroy, was pronounced dead by emergency personnel around 3 a.m. Feb. 16, after a neighbor called police about loud noises and barking dogs, according to Espinoza. He had injuries to his upper body resulting from blunt force trauma. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
Police ask anyone with information related to Heiser’s death to call the GPD’s anonymous tip line at (408) 846-0330 or call the department’s non-emergency line at (408) 846-0350 and ask for Detective Eric Cryar.

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