Israel Ortega arrested after body of Isaiah Orantes found along Phoenix canal bank

PHOENIX - A second person has been arrested in the shooting death of a man whose body was found along a Phoenix canal bank last week.

Phoenix police say 19-year-old Israel Ortega was arrested on Wednesday and booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and armed robbery.

Shortly before midnight on January 7, 19-year-old Isaiah Orantes was found dead on the canal back near 47th Avenue and Cholla Street. Police say he appeared to have been shot.

Detectives identified the suspect who killed Orantes as 20-year-old Robert Patrick Nicolai. He was arrested and booked into jail.

Through their investigation, detectives learned that the victim had conspired with Ortega to rob Nicolai of the marijuana he was selling.

Police say Ortega dropped Orantes off at the prearranged meeting point where Orantes was shot and killed by Nicolai during the robbery.

Based on information from witnesses and suspects, detectives believe the victim Orantes was armed with a handgun when he was shot, but it has not been found.

Police say because Orantes died during the commission of a felony robbery which he conspired with Ortega to commit, Ortega was arrested and now faces a murder charge.

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