Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Man found shot to death at home

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Police are investigating the city's third homicide of the year, a man found shot to death on his living room floor.

        The Butler County Coroner's Office Tuesday identified the victim as Elias Meraz Astorga, whom police say is also known as Jayme Astorga. It was unclear which name was legitimate, authorities said.

        At about 11:45 p.m. Monday, a passerby called 911 and asked police to come to Mr. Astorga's residence in the 700 block of East Avenue.

        “The door is standing wide open at this house, and there is a man laying on the ground, and it looks like there is blood coming from his head — and I heard a gunshot,” the caller said.

        She said a relative of Mr. Astorga had said an acquaintance was arguing with him over $100 just before the shooting.

        Mr. Astorga, believed to be 52 years old, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, Coroner Dr. Richard P. Burkhardt said.

        No arrest had been made as of late Tuesday afternoon, Hamilton Police Lt. Steve Isgro said.

        The victim worked for a moving company and was a native either of Durango, Mexico, or Albuquerque, N.M., according to police records.

        He primarily spoke Spanish and had been arrested seven times in the past three years on domestic violence, assault and weapons charges, records showed.

        The most recent arrest occurred Jan. 22, when he was charged with assault.

        A woman told officers he attempted to strangle her, a police report says.


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