Crimeline reward up to $19K in elderly Orange County woman's death

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:52:26 AM EST
Updated On: Oct 11 2013 07:13:21 PM EDT

Orange County Sheriff's Office has increased the Crimeline reward to $19,000 for information in the homicide of the elderly woman found in her burning home.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -

Nearly a month after an elderly woman's body was discovered inside her burning home, detectives hope a new clue may help catch the killers.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office has increased the Crimeline reward to $19,000 for information.

Elena Ortega, 83, was found with gruesome injuries before detectives think her attackers set fire to her home to cover up the crime.

Neighbors all knew Ortega, liked her and could not imagine who would hurt her.

But detectives now believe someone targeted Ortega, knowing she lived alone at her home on Turnbull Drive, and that her health was on the decline.

"Everybody loved my mom," said Elena Wilson, Ortega's daughter. "September 18th was the worst day of my life. She was taken away from me by evil."

When authorities found Ortega's body, they also learned that her jewelry was gone, including a unique bracelet from Spain.

Wilson said other jewelry was also missing; including pearl earrings, an 18 carat gold chain and the grandmother's 67-year-old wedding band.

"After she worked so hard in this country to have something, somebody just came and got it. That is not fair," said Ortega. "I hope, one day, that that pain that I have right now in my heart, it will ease a little bit by justice and by catching these people."

Deputies said anonymous tips help them find two persons of interest, who were arrested on other, unrelated charges, but deputies have not charged them in connection to Ortega's death.

At the news conference on Friday, deputies released two pictures that show the Ortega family and distinctive jewelry.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.

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