BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Following the arrest of Abel Ortiz for his alleged involvement in the homicide of Edward Ross in Panama City Beach, several of Ortiz’s family member have also been arrested.
According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, five individuals were involved in a retaliatory altercation on Saturday with a person they believed to have provided the information leading to the arrest of Ortiz. Three of them were family members.
In the altercation, one victim was severely beaten and another was struck once before fleeing. Deputies said video evidence shows those responsible chasing that victim across the parking lot of a local grocery store.
Ortiz’s half brother, Eynar Huertas, 20, is charged with battery and tampering with a victim or witness. Damien Huertas, 14, who is also Ortiz’s half brother, was charged with tampering with a victim or witness and aggravated battery.
Ortiz’s aunt, Natalie Olivo, was charged with tampering with a victim or witness.
Jose Mercado Cintron, was charged with assault.
Abel Olivo-Rivera is charged with battery and tampering with a victim or witness.
Sheriff Tommy Ford said tampering with a victim or witness in a homicide investigation is a life felony and could result in life in prison if convicted.