Daytona Beach police close Embry Riddle student’s death investigation

Alex Bello-Ortiz died in September 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the second time, Daytona Beach detectives said they closed their investigation into an Embry Riddle student’s death back in 2020. At the time, investigators ruled Alex Bello-Ortiz’s death a suicide but reopened it earlier this year after his family brought more evidence forward attempting to prove he was murdered.

“If we have any form of evidence that led us to believe that this was a homicide, we would not be closing this investigation,” Chief Jakari Young said.

Now, three years later, police said evidence still leads investigators to believe Ortiz took his own life. The ERAU student and air force cadet died in September of 2020. Police said he was found with a single gunshot wound to the head.

“Any time you lose a child regardless of the nature of death, it’s a tragedy,” Young said.

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Ortiz’s family pushed for a new investigation earlier this year.


They brought detectives new Ring doorbell audio from Ortiz’s house and filed a federal lawsuit claiming Ortiz was murdered by his roommate. The family and their attorneys believe Ortiz and the roommate could be heard in the audio arguing before a gunshot, followed by the roommate calling his father about restaging the scene.

“They paint the picture of the roommate making an incriminating phone call and making some incriminating statements. I don’t hear any of that,” Detective Dave Dinardi said.

Detectives said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and several experts also did not hear anything that proves a murder took place.

News 6 reached out to the family after police announced the case is closed but did not hear back. A hearing on their federal lawsuit is scheduled for next January.

“Based off that information I found, the facts, the evidence, I’m absolutely certain that we’re closing this the proper way,” Detective Jayson Wallace said.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.