Dozens attend vigil for elderly woman killed in house fire

Dozens gather to remember 83-year-old Elena Ortega

ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens huddled together at a candlelight vigil Friday evening outside 5020 Turnbull Drive, just steps from where deputies say someone killed their friendly elderly neighbor, Elena Ortega.

The 83-year-old woman lived alone, used a walker and neighbors fear she was an easy target.

Investigators pulled her from her burning home with obvious signs of trauma a week ago.

"I was horrified. I was disgusted," said Deanna Yoder, who was there that day and vows to use the death as a catalyst to clean up her neighborhood.

But until deputies charge someone, neighbors feel uneasy.

"It really upsets me, because my husband and I are elderly," said Maisie Watts. "What if we were by ourselves and they would decide to break into our house?"

Investigators are speaking to two persons of interest, who were already under arrest for other crimes. At this point, deputies have not charged them in connection to Ortega's death, and have not said how they are related to the homicide and arson cover-up.

Even so, the men are well-known to neighbors.

"This terror has been running around this neighborhood. So my thinking is, yes it was him. Am I afraid to say that? No, I am not, because history speaks for itself and a leopard does not change his spots," said Yoder. "I'm very upset because I feel right now until they charge him, it's an injustice to her."

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