Sheriff: Murder victim was mistakenly targeted, abducted

By Erin Murray and Greg Angel, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018, 10:52 PM EST

A body found along an Ormond Beach road earlier this week has been identified as a woman reported missing out of Osceola County.

  • Woman's body found in Ormond Beach on Monday
  • Police ID'd her as Janice Marie Zengotita-Torres of Kissimmee
  • Deputies took a person of interest into custody Friday

The body of Janice Marie Zengotita-Torres, 42, of Kissimmee was found Monday morning, Jan. 8, on the 100 block of Bennett Lane, near Tomoka Avenue, by a utility worker.

Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said at a news conference Friday that Zengotita-Torres was targeted, abducted and killed. In a twist, detectives later learned that it was a case of mistaken identity, and Zengotita-Torres was not the actual murder target.

Two of the three people arrested in the case -- Alexis Ramos Rivera and Glorianmarie Montes -- now face first degree murder charges. They were hired by the third suspect, Ishnar Ramos, to kill a woman that was in a relationship with a man that Ishnar said she loved.

Sheriff Gibson spoke to reporters twice on Jan. 12 about the crime, and each time he became emotional.

"I get emotional because it just touches me so deeply that one of our citizens was killed in such a manner over a mistaken identification, and in the end it appears to be a lovers triangle,” Gibson said.

Rivera and Montes thought that woman was Zengotita-Torres. According to Gibson, they followed to her apartment from her job at a Ross retail store, made contact with her in the parking lot and forcibly put her in the back of her own car, then drove off in both cars.

It wasn't until later, after the three suspects had used the victim's ATM card to withdraw money from a bank ATM, that they realized they had kidnapped the wrong woman. Then, according to Gibson, the three suspects decided to carry out the murder, anyway.

They tied Zengotita-Torres's hands with zip ties, duct taped a trash bag over her head, beat her, then dumped her body in Ormond Beach. Zengotita-Torres died of suffocation.

Gibson said from the night of her initial kidnapping until Thursday, the suspects continued to use Zengotita-Torres's ATM card to withdraw cash. Deputies apprehended Ramos at an ATM, and based on her confession picked up Rivera and Montes.

"All three confirmed that this was a murder for hire," Gibson said. "And that the victim was mistakenly ... again, mistakenly targeted and murdered."

The sheriff's office confirmed that all three suspects arrived in Central Florida from Puerto Rico on Dec. 26, 2017. They have no information at this time on any prior criminal histories among the three -- they said it would be a few days to obtain that information from Puerto Rican law enforcement.


Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson announces Friday that 3 people have been arrested in connection to the suspicious death of Janice Marie Zengotita-Torres. Her body was found in Ormond Beach. (Erin Murray, staff)