Saturday, December 4

“My son prayed while he was dying”: Dominican teenager stabbed and burned in New York is honored with posthumous graduation

It was one of the most brutal crimes of 2020.

Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

Ten months after the brutal murder of teenager Winston Ortiz, his family attended what should have been his high school graduation.

The 18-year-old was stabbed and burned on a 5th floor staircase in a building in Woodycrest Avenue in El Bronx (NYC), last August 12. “We had so many plans for him when he finished high school,” he recently told Pix11 his mother, Joan Tamarez.

Last month, Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School administrators presented the Ortiz family with a blue cap and gown, along with a commemorative plaque honoring Winston, at the high school graduation ceremony in Randall’s Island.

The parents and their two sons walked together, while his brother Wilmer wore his blue graduation cap. “Walking there, I felt that I was walking in his place … He was like walking by my side, “said the young man.

Winston, the oldest of three children, wanted to be an engineer and his parents would send him to summer programs at Hostos Community College. The Ortiz family, who have a strong devotion to God, described the teenager as calm, “with such a good heart. He was so humble. “

The mother stated that his son was praying when a policewoman found him dying on the stairs. “She heard him say, ‘Lord, forgive all my sins.’

His father, also named Winston, affirms today that “Without the Lord, I don’t know where my mind would be.” “I’d rather everyone remember Winston how he was, how adorable he was … How kind he was.”

Some of the details behind the murder of his eldest son remain a mystery to his parents, Dominican immigrants.

Winston’s mother, who works with students with special needs, also serves as a preteen Bible studies teacher at the family’s local church. Said that’s where Winston, when he was 17, met a 14-year-old girl who he liked.

The mother was concerned about that relationship. Two days before Winston was killed, his brother Wilmer recalled that the teenager had come home upset.

Previously, In 2019 Winston was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain aneurysm. But a year later, when the city was closed due to the pandemic, the family had received good news from a doctor, who told them that radiation treatment had successfully treated the aneurysm.

But in the summer tragedy would strike him again and this time it was fatal. Adones Betances, brother of Winston’s alleged girlfriend, was arrested for her murder and the next court hearing is scheduled for the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the Ortiz family moved into a new apartment in the months after Winston’s death, and there, They try to rebuild their lives after the brutal crime of which they were all victims.


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