PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – An 18-year-old man kidnapped his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend, shot and killed him, and then dumped his body in the desert on Wednesday, police said. According to court documents, Jerssen Perez waited outside of his ex's house near Seventh Avenue and Union Hills Drive for 19-year-old Oscar Ortega around 2:30 a.m. When Ortega walked outside to leave, that's when Perez kidnapped him at gunpoint, police said.
During the drive, Ortega texted his girlfriend that he'd been kidnapped. Perez then tried to take the phone and shot Ortega multiple times, court records said. Perez kept driving north, where he dumped the body in the desert.
Police said he put Ortega's clothes, shell casings and other evidence in a backpack in a large bush in the area of 47th and Desert Cove avenues, which is north of Peoria Avenue. Around 8 a.m., Ortega's family called the police about the kidnapping. Later in the day, Perez's family called the police and said he confessed to murder and he gave the family the murder weapon, court documents said. Around 3 p.m., Perez was arrested. Police said he admitted to the crimes and led police to the body and the backpack. Friends decorated Ortega's truck in flowers and special items on Thursday.
Investigators said Perez told them he planned the crimes and had "been thinking about killing the victim for a month." "The hard part I think for everyone to imagine is just that pre-meditation and I mean the brutality of it to kidnap somebody and murder them while they sit next to you in a car," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Williams. Perez was booked into jail on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and concealing a body.
During his first appearance before a judge, the lawyer for Perez said he was employed at Honeywell, just turned 18 and had no criminal history. She also added he had no history of violence before the allegations. The attorney said the family of Perez secured evidence for the state and Perez led investigators to evidence to help the victim's family "provide a proper burial for their son." A judge set Perez's secured bond at $1 million.