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DNA links inmate to beating, police say

Resident being held in Los Angeles jail reportedly admits to attacking and robbing woman in June.

October 21, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

GLENDALE — A 39-year-old Glendale man who was already in police custody for another charge was allegedly identified through DNA evidence as the attacker of a 58-year-old woman who was bound and beaten unconscious June 2 inside her apartment, police said Wednesday.

The DNA evidence allegedly matched Lorenzo Ordonez, who was in custody in a downtown Los Angeles jail in connection with a separate Glendale case for assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, Glendale Police Det. Mike Wenz said.

Police visited the jail and interviewed Ordonez, who allegedly admitted to having tied up the woman, beaten and robbed her. He also told police the attack was random, Wenz added.

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"This woman was just in wrong place at the wrong time," he said.

Ordonez was charged with attempted murder, kidnapping to commit robbery, residential burglary and robbery, Wenz said.

"It's scary because it could have been anyone in that apartment complex," he said.

Ordonez told police that when he found some money in her apartment, he fled not knowing whether she was dead or alive, Wenz said.

The attack occurred early June 2 in the woman's apartment on the 200 block of East Garfield Avenue.

The woman only recalled walking her dog about 9:30 p.m., returning home and going to bed about 10 p.m., he said.

The woman awoke about 12:50 a.m. gasping for air because her mouth had been taped shut. Tape had also been placed over her eyes, and her wrists were bound.

Some bones on the left side of her face were fractured and some of her teeth were knocked out.

She was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and admitted into the Intensive Care Unit, where she remained for nearly two weeks.

Immediately after the attack, Glendale Crime Stoppers offered $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the woman's attacker.

But the reward never attracted any concrete leads, and so the continuing investigation languished until the DNA hit.

"This is the way it is supposed to happen," Wenz said.

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