Police Capture Suspect in Shooting Death of Indiana Teen

Police believe a robbery gone wrong occurred on the night that Alayna Ortiz was shot to death

Police in northwest Indiana have announced the capture of a suspect in the shooting death of an 18-year-old girl earlier this year. 

49-year-old Juarez Rogers, who is facing murder charges in connection with the incident, was arrested in a Chicago suburb on Thursday morning. The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, following up on an anonymous tip provided to detectives in Griffith, Indiana, located Rogers on Thursday and arrested him without incident. 

Rogers is accused in the shooting death of 18-year-old Alayna Ortiz, who was killed Jan. 9 in what police believe was a burglary attempt gone wrong.

Rogers, along with his nephew Giovante Galloway, were both charged with murder and numerous felony burglary charges in the death of Ortiz.

Galloway had been taken into custody in mid-January, according to police. 

On the evening of Jan. 9, police say that Ortiz was shot and killed while riding in a car with her boyfriend and two other people.

Police say that Ortiz’s boyfriend is believed to be a drug dealer, and the four individuals were fleeing a residence after two break-in attempts, which were believed to have been carried out by Rogers and Galloway.

The group was seeking shelter at the Park West Apartments in Griffith, Indiana, and that is where the shooting ultimately took place.

Police say that Galloway owed Ortiz’s boyfriend money, and when he couldn’t pay up, he and his uncle devised a scheme to steal money from the couple’s home.

The suspects spotted Ortiz and her boyfriend’s vehicle, and followed them that night to Griffith with the intention of robbing them, police said in a sworn affidavit.

When the suspects allegedly attempted to rob the couple, gunfire rang out, and Ortiz was struck in the head by a bullet. She later died from her injuries.

Police do not believe that Ortiz was the intended target in the slaying.

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