The Wilson Times



Monday, February 07, 2011 9:49 AM

Decade since man found at abandoned gas station
At one point, former governor had offered 5K reward for help in case

By Gina Childress | Times Staff Writer

On April 20, Ramon Elias Matute-Ortiz would have celebrated his 56th birthday.

But he was shot and killed on Aug. 17, 1999. Even though no arrest has been made in the case, police haven't given up hope of catching the killer.

Previous reports indicate, Matute-Ortiz was shot in the chest around 10:50 p.m., near the intersection of the 700 block of Black Creek Road and Pender Street. He was found in what has been nicknamed "the schoolyard."

The schoolyard is an abandoned gas station at that intersection. It hasn't been operational in many years and is used as a place where people go to hang out.

Matute-Ortiz was residing at 711 Black Creek Road at the time of his death, which is just blocks away from where he died.

At the time of the murder investigators determined Matute-Ortiz was shot in the lower chest with a small caliber weapon. They have never released the type of gun.

They did find an unopened lockblade knife underneath his body.

Police followed up and chased leads but were never able to concretely develop a suspect or a motive in the killing.

In February 2000, former governor James B. Hunt Jr. offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Matute-Ortiz's death. That proclamation has since expired.

No family members or friends could be immediately located to discuss the case.

But just because it has been almost 12 years since the murder, investigators haven't given up on finding the person responsible.

If anyone has any information concerning the 1999 murder of Ramon Elias Matute-Ortiz, they are asked to contact the Wilson Police Department at 399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 243-2255.

gina@wilsontimes.com | 265-7821
The Wilson Times has partnered with the Wilson Police Department profiling a series of unsolved murders dating back to 1997 and leading up to the present time. This series entitled "Cold Case Files" will feature one case a week until the end of April. Investigators hope by bringing attention to these cases once again, they may be able to bring closure to a family.




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