Illegal Immigrant Who Murdered Michigan Woman Was Previously Deported

An illegal immigrant who is facing murder charges and a potential life sentence was deported from the United States four years before he re-entered the country illegally, according to federal authorities.

Brandon Ortiz-Vite, 25, was arraigned on March 26, two days after he was arrested in connection to 25-year-old Ruby Garcia, who was found shot dead on the side of the road in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 22. The illegal immigrant is originally from Mexico and was in the country unlawfully, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Following a 911 call, the suspect was arrested and held in custody in a Kent County prison, where he remained without bail. Authorities revealed during a press conference on Tuesday that Ortiz-Vite and Garcia had been in a romantic relationship at the time of the woman’s death.

In the days that followed the tragedy and arrest, ICE confirmed additional details about the suspect, including the fact that he had previously been deported and has a years-long criminal history.

The Kent County Court later revealed that the illegal immigrant was arrested in 2018 for breaking and entering as well as in 2020 on charges related to drunk driving. The same year, he was sought with a bench warrant for failing to appear to be charged in the 2020 driving case.

Additionally, Ortiz-Vite was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving without a license or with a non-valid license in 2017. At the time, he paid the $250 fine. A year later, the suspect also admitted to illegally entering a residence in Wyoming, a misdemeanor for which he was sentenced to one year of probation. However, he ended up in jail for 30 days after he failed to adhere to his probation terms.

In 2020, Ortiz-Vite was once again arrested for driving while intoxicated, when he damaged property and caused an accident. To this charge, he pleaded not guilty and, after failing to appear in court following his personal recognizance jail release, an arrest warrant was issued. By the fall of 2020, he was deported to Mexico by the Trump administration.

Garcia’s murder comes amid growing concern about border security, which has proven to be a top priority issue for American voters ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Pete Hoekstra, the chairman for the Michigan Republican Party, said when commenting on the tragedy that the young woman’s death “was avoidable.”