Previously deported illegal immigrant charged with murder of 25-year-old Michigan woman

An illegal immigrant who was deported to his home country of Mexico in 2020 has been accused of the murder of a Michigan woman after he re-entered the country illegally.

Brandon Ortiz-Vite, who is currently being held at the Kent County, Michigan, jail is being charged with felony murder, open murder, carjacking, carrying a concealed weapon and felony use of a firearm after the body of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia was discovered on U.S. 131 in downtown Grand Rapids and identified by investigators.

The pair had been in a romantic relationship at the time of the killing, police said Tuesday at a news conference. 

In a statement to Fox News Digital, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson confirmed that Ortiz-Vite was in the country illegally at the time of Garcia’s death.

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Brandon Ortiz-Vite is being charged with murder and other crimes after the body of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia was discovered on U.S. 131 in downtown Grand Rapids and identified by investigators. (Mavi Garcia, Kent County Jail)

Ortiz-Vite, 25, “was arrested by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Detroit on Aug. 31, 2020, and served a notice to appear. He was ordered removed by an immigration judge with the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) Sept. 24, 2020, and was removed to Mexico Sept. 29, 2020,” a spokesperson for ICE told Fox News Digital. “At an unknown date and location, Ortiz-Vite reentered the United States without inspection by an immigration official.”

“On Mar. 24, 2024, ERO Detroit encountered Ortiz-Vite pursuant to him being arrested by the Michigan State Police and charged with murder and other crimes,” the spokesperson added. “ERO Detroit lodged a detainer with the Kent County Jail for Ortiz-Vite.”

Garcia’s deceased body was found with gunshot wounds by Michigan State Police troopers near the roadways of southbound U.S. 131 and Leonard Street with apparent gunshot wounds around 11:38 p.m. on Friday.

Garcia’s vehicle was found Saturday parked in a residential area. On Sunday, Ortiz-Vite called 911 and said he wanted to speak with authorities. He was arrested and booked into jail. 

He was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held without bail, Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Becker told reporters. 

“So this is another case of domestic violence homicide,” he said. 

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Brandon Ortiz-Vite

Brandon Ortiz-Vite, who is currently being held at the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids, was previously arrested in 2020 and deported to Mexico. (Kent County Jail)

Becker said the shooting occurred in Garcia’s car without going into detail. 

Garcia’s sister, Mavi Garcia, has since established a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Ruby’s funeral. As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraiser had received 270 donations and raised more than $15,100, surpassing its original goal of $13,000.

Speaking to The Midwesterner earlier this week, Mavi Garcia, who previously identified Ortiz-Vite in a post to Facebook as the suspect in her sister’s death, said her sister was “a great person all around.”

“She would brighten up the room with her beautiful smile and laugh,” Garcia said of her sister. “She loved to travel, was dedicated to her work and enjoyed being with her family on her free time.”

Ruby Garcia

“She would brighten up the room with her beautiful smile and laugh,” Mavi Garcia said of her sister, Ruby. “She loved to travel, was dedicated to her work and enjoyed being with her family on her free time.” (Mavi Garcia)

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“She was a great daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She will be remembered as being full of life and laughter, those who were around her would know she was silly and made everyone laugh,” Garcia added of Ruby. “Her loss has impacted the lives of many people. Her life was taken too soon. She deserved to live life, travel the world, have kids and follow her dreams.”

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