Man in custody had run-ins in the past
By Casey Toner firstname.lastname@example.org June 7, 2012 10:50PM
Sophia Ortiz, age 4 months, of South Chicago Heights, died of alleged shaken baby syndrom. | Photo provided
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:17AM
The 23-year-old South Chicago Heights man who is in custody stemming from the death of a three-month-old girl had previously threatened to kill his other child’s mother, according to police reports.
The man was arrested Tuesday night about 30 minutes after Sophia Ortiz, 193 W. 31st St., South Chicago Heights, died at Christ Hospital Medical Center in Oak Lawn, South Chicago Heights Police Chief William Joyce said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled the infant’s death a homicide due to multiple injuries and child abuse.
Police responded to a call of an unresponsive baby at 3 a.m. Monday in the 100 block of West 31st Street, Joyce said. The baby appeared to have been shaken, he said.
The 23-year-old man allegedly threatened to kill the mother of his other child in August 2010 while they were arguing over the custody of their two-year-old boy, according to Steger police.
“You’re not letting me see my son,” the man told her, according to police reports. “I am going to blow up your house and everyone in it.”
The mother filed another report in February 2009, claiming they started to fight after she drove up to him in her car, according to Steger police reports. She said he wasn’t supporting her pregnancy so he punched her car’s rear passenger side window and broke it.
When she got out of the car, the man threw her into the snow, according to reports. No charges were filed in either case.
The woman also had filed orders of protection against the 23-year-old man from August to November 2010 that limited his visitation rights, according to court records.
DCFS is currently investigating an allegation of death by abuse against the infant’s father, spokesman Kendall Marlowe said. DCFS has had no previous investigations involving the girl’s father and he had no other children in his care, Marlowe said.
Sophia’s mother, whose brother, Michael Dennis, was murdered by serial killer David Maust in 2003, wrote about her baby on Facebook after the death.
“I love you baby girl,” the mother wrote. “You’re with papa and little mikey now. I miss you already angel.”
Joyce said that the Cook County state’s attorney is reviewing the case and charges are pending.
“She was a beautiful little girl,” Joyce said. “Everyone in contact with this baby is on a mission to get it right.”
Ortiz’s visitation will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. June 10 at Steger Memorial Chapel, 3045 Chicago Road. The funeral also will be held at the chapel that day at 7 p.m., and the internment is private.