WSVN — It has been 11 years, but that sight is still stuck in Nelson Polanco's eyes.
Nelson Polanco: "I mean it was just the most horrific sight that I have never, never, ever."
And the sight in front of Nelson on May 17, 1996 is a sight no person should ever see.
Nelson Polanco: "I started screaming and screaming, hollering, and some of the neighbors came by, and I said, 'My mom is dead.'"
Ana Virginia Ortiz had been brutally murdered. Nelson found his 42-year-old mother on the kitchen floor of their home. A loving mother who protected her son and didn't tell him the trouble she was going through.
Nelson Polanco: "She didn't want me to find out what was going on. She didn't want to tell me. I guess because she didn't know how I was going to react."
Ana's nasty break-up from her husband, Nelson's stepfather Raul Ortiz, was headed to divorce court. It got so bad she had to get a restraining order against Ortiz.
Nelson Polanco: "According to the report, there was a dispute between her and my stepfather. He came out to the front yard and made some verbal threats to her."
And Ana's family is convinced they were not idle threats, that Ortiz, who was living across the street in another home the couple owned was very upset with Ana.
Juan Martinez, the victim's uncle, speaking through a translator: "He was the mastermind behind her death. He holds on to material things. He was afraid of losing his properties and of losing her."
After getting the restraining order against her husband, Ana was still worried and asked Nelson to do something at their home. At the time he did not know why.
Nelson Polanco: "Two days prior to her murder, my mom asked me to change the locks. I asked her again, I ask her, 'Mom, why are we changing the door locks?' She said, 'Don't let your stepfather see you changing the front door locks. Do it when he is not there.'"
Nelson did change the locks, but that did not save her life. The murderer broke in through the garage door, in broad daylight and stabbed Ana to death.
Nelson Polanco: "As much as I can say it was brutal, and, then again, a number of crimes of passions aren't brutal, but it was a very brutal crime, yes."
Detective Juan Capote was one of the first detectives on the scene.
Detective Juan Capote: "It was an extensive scene as regards to blood, we were very careful not to step. One of our interests was foot print evidence because of the tile floor."
After talking to the family, they questioned Raul Ortiz and impounded his car, his fingerprints and DNA were all over Ana's House. But, remember, he had lived there with her as her husband.
Detective Juan Capote: "Whenever you have someone looking at a suspect in a crime, if they've had access to a certain location, you are going to find evidence, not only fingerprint evidence, footprint evidence, DNA evidence. If, ultimately, he is the one who did it, then, yeah, it makes it more difficult to pin it down."
Ortiz was very cooperative with Police and was never charged with the crime, and, 11 years later, the killer or killers are still on the loose.
Patrick Fraser: And that frustrates the family. In their mind, Ana's soon to be ex-husband had opportunity and the motive but, for detectives, that is not enough. They have to have the evidence.
Ortiz would not talk on camera but told us he is innocent and would love to see the Police capture his wife's killer. In that respect, everyone agrees with him.
Detective Juan Capote: "We have to keep an open mind, and an open mind is what closes these cases."
It's why cold case Detectives keep going through old files hoping someone who saw something will finally say something. They are hoping for a new clue.
Nelson is holding on to his memories, and hoping one final thing can be done for his mother.
Nelson Polanco: "And I mean my mom was everything to me, and I really, really, really need someone's help to get this resolved because she deserves justice."
Nelson called us asking us to tell his mother's story.
If you can help, if you know anything about the murder of Ana Ortiz Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers would love to hear from you. Give them a call, and if you are like Nelson, still hoping that the murderer of a loved one can finally be caught, give us a call. There are so many people who never forget, who are still Out for Justice.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Out for JusticeMIAMI-DADE: 305-598-HELPBROWARD: 954-796-HELP
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: 305-471-TIPS