Widow of the Man Killed at Fosters Freeze Speaks Out

Atwater, Calif. Joanna Ortiz says her husband of nearly 11 years was a loving family man, a hard working employee at a local RV dealer, and a math whiz. But she says it was his thoughtful nature that led the 33-year-old to the Fosters Freeze in Atwater the night he was murdered there.

Ortiz said, "My husband came home from work, and he came and laid with me and hugged me and kissed me, and then he said I'm gonna go take the movies back and I said ok, and he said do you want anything (like he always does every night), and I said hot chocolate hot fudge sundae from Fosters Freeze."

Atwater Police say David Ortiz was waiting for his order when someone came up behind him and shot him ... and then kept firing even after he fell to the ground. When the father of three didn't return home, Joanna put their daughters in the car and went looking for him.

"Then we drove up to Foster Freeze and there were all kinds of cop cars everywhere, and his car was open and I said that's my husband, that's my husband what's going on, that's my husband," said Ortiz.

Now as Ortiz prepares to face Christmas without the man she calls her best friend, detectives are still trying to figure out who killed him and why. Surveillance video captured the shooting, but the suspect was wearing a mask and the video was poor quality.

Det. Armando Echevarria said, "We're in the process of trying to source out that surveillance to some companies that might be able to enhance it and give us some more details about that."

Joanna is also hoping someone will come forward with information.

Ortiz said, "I beg you, I beg you with all my heart if anyone could call in with any tips or anything cause there were people there who saw it, so we can catch this because it has to stop somewhere."

Police aren't sure whether Ortiz was targeted or if his murder was a random act of violence. But his widow says she can't imagine why anyone would want to hurt him.

"He was just a good man trying to get his wife an ice cream, and I would hate for this to happen to anybody," said Ortiz.

Monday from 4-8pm there will be a viewing at Ivers & Alcorn Funeral Home at 901 W. Main St. in Merced. Tuesday at 1pm there will be a rosary followed by a mass at Our Lady of Mercy at 435 W. 21st St. in Merced. The David Ortiz Memorial Fund is at Travis Credit Union, and the account # is 453904.

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