Ewing Man Found Guilty of Strangling Girlfriend with Cellphone Charging Cord

Mercer County Prosecutor's Office announced that a Ewing man who strangled his girlfriend with a cellphone charging cord two years ago was found guilty on a seven-count indictment Wednesday morning.

According to authorities, Ewing police responded to a residence on Ewingville Road just before 3 a.m. on August 17, 2016, to perform a welfare check after receiving a call.

Upon arrival, police found 51- year-old Rufina Castro lying deceased in her bedroom.

An investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department revealed that Ortiz and Castro got into an argument the night before inside their home. Ortiz subsequently struck Castro in the head with a glass beer bottle and then strangled her with a cell phone charging cord.

Officials say after the killing, Ortiz stopped by the Ewing Shop Rite where Castro worked, told Castro's supervisor she wouldn't be coming in because she was sick, and then fled to Belleville motel, where he was arrested.

According to authorities, police found Castro's credit and debit cards, as well as jewelry inside the room. Ortiz also had $750 worth of cocaine.

Officials say Ortiz today was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault, theft and weapons offenses. Now he now awaits sentencing.