Christmas Day homicide suspect charged with murder

On Thursday, police arrested a suspect in a Christmas Day homicide that took place on the 8100 block of Kelton Drive.

A 21-year-old man was formally charged with murder in the Christmas Day killing of a woman who had a restraining order against him – marking the Garlic Capital’s third murder this year, according to the Gilroy Police Department.
Ernesto Rodriguez, of Gilroy, was arraigned Monday afternoon at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill and charged with one count of homicide for his alleged involvement in the death of 21-year-old Alma Roque Ortega, also of Gilroy, said GPD. Sgt. Wes Stanford.
On Christmas Day at approximately 5:30 p.m., Rodriguez’s parents returned to their home on the 8100 block of Kelton Drive and found Ortega’s body in the bedroom – and their adult son, Rodriguez, missing, according to a press release.
A patrol officer located Rodriguez in the area of the 8000 block of Kelton Drive Dec. 26 at approximately 8:22 a.m. and he was arrested without incident, the GPD says.
“We believe (Ortega) was killed inside the apartment and we’re actively pursuing additional leads,” Stanford said. “But we’re confident that we have the right individual in custody.”
Ortega did not live with Rodriguez, who was forbidden from contacting her through a criminal protective order out of San Benito County.
Police confirmed Rodriguez lived in the Kelton Drive home where Ortega’s body was found. Stanford said he could not confirm outside media reports claiming Ortega lived six houses away from Rodriguez.
“At the very least they were boyfriend and girlfriend,” Stanford said. “We’re working on that aspect but they definitely had a relationship in the past. We’re still determining what their current relationship was.”
Two other Gilroyans have been killed in the past year in separate homicides.
A 30-year-old man, Jesse Emmanuel Silos, was gunned down in front of a home on the 7300 block of Chestnut Street April 3, which police say was “gang motivated.” And on Dec. 31, 2012, a 51-year-old man, Elpidio Morales Jr., lost his life after he was shot near the intersection of Old Gilroy and Alexander streets.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Gilroy Police Homicide Detective Mike Bolton (408) 846-0335. Parties wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 1-800-782-7463 (1-800-78-Crime).
Rodriguez is scheduled to submit a plea on Jan. 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.