It is a time that Bridgette Jorgenson suspects will always be seared into her memory.
At 4:55 p.m. on May 19, 2012, she received the phone call that would bring her the news that her son had been murdered.
“It was his girlfriend, hysterical, saying he was dead,” Jorgenson said.
Joshua Jorgenson, 18, had left his pregnant girlfriend’s apartment early that morning after being called by a friend, Jose L. Ortiz Jr., in the same complex to come over.
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He would never return.
Later that afternoon, Ortiz’s girlfriend would return home from an overnight trip to find both Joshua Jorgenson and Ortiz, 25, dead on the kitchen floor in their apartment at the Providence at Marine Creek complex in the 4300 block of Ashberry Court.
Both men had been shot repeatedly in a slaying that remains unsolved.
Two years later, the mothers of the two men are still struggling to understand their sons’ deaths and why no witnesses have come forward.
“That’s what I don’t understand,” said Elsie Blanco, Ortiz’s mother. “These apartments are very thin apartments and nobody hears any gunshots? Nobody sees anything?”
Fort Worth homicide Detective E. Pate, who is working the case along with Detective J. Cedillo, said investigators suspect the slaying was drug-related.
Pate said he believes the pair were slain early that morning by at least two people who had been let inside the apartment. They found no evidence of forced entry, he said.
“I didn’t have any evidence of anything being taken, but I think it was only due to the fact they didn’t find what they were looking for,” Pate said.
Pate said detectives have generated multiple leads in the case, including information on some persons of interest who were wanted for crimes in Chicago, but so far none has led to an arrest in connection with the slayings.
The only arrest in the case thus far has been of Ortiz’s girlfriend, Angie Narvaez, who was indicted on a charge of tampering with evidence after investigators learned she had removed marijuana from the apartment before police arrived.
Narvaez was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication probation. In September, court records show, her probation was revoked and she was sentenced to three years in prison.
‘He was my son’
Blanco said that though investigators have told her they think her son was dealing drugs, she can’t believe it. She said her son drove an old Oldsmobile clunker and had to ask her for money to help with bills, from insurance payments to an inspection sticker.
“I’m not saying my son was a perfect kid, but he was my son. …” Blanco said. “He had a loving and kind heart. He was always trying to help others. I would always get after him. I would say, ‘Jose, how you can be helping this person when you need the help more?’ He’d say, ‘Oh, Mom. God is going to bless me.’ ”
After her son’s death, Blanco said she was the one who broke the news to her granddaughter, Abigail, that her daddy was now loving her from Heaven, alongside her great-grandmother.
“She was only 6. She cried and cried. I said, ‘Daddy is now your guardian angel and he’s watching over you’,” Blanco said.
Blanco said it was only about a month ago that family members got together again with Abigail, now 8, to finally tell her the circumstances of her father’s death, which she had been asking about often in recent months.
“We just sat around and held hands and we prayed and asked the Lord to give us words and give Abigail the strength not to change her heart, to be the same precious little girl she was,” Blanco said.
Of the questions the girl peppered family members with, there was one they could not answer: Who killed her father?
“We told her we don’t know who,” Blanco said. “The detectives are still working and they’re working hard to find out who did it.”
‘Hard to forget that time’
Jorgenson described her son as a “wild child” who literally learned to run before crawling.
She said she had last seen him on the afternoon before his death, when he left their Aledo home. He called her that night, letting her know he was home and that he’d call her the next morning when he awoke.
He never called and that afternoon Jorgenson learned from his girlfriend why.
“It’s kind of hard to forget that time,” Jorgenson said.
Joshua Jorgenson’s little sister was only 2 when her big brother died but can still remember him.
“We have him cremated and in a box,” Jorgenson said. “She gives him a kiss almost every day.”
On Monday, at 4:55 p.m., the little girl will join her mother outside their Weatherford residence to deliver a message to her big brother. It’s the same message they sent him on the one-year anniversary of his death and on the birthdays he never lived to celebrate.
“We get three balloons — one from me, one from my daughter and one from my husband,” Bridgette Jorgenson explained. “We write on them, ‘I love you,’ and let them go in the air.”