By Rachel Christian
Three individuals are behind bars for an alleged botched murder-for-hire plot hat resulted in the death of a Kissimmee wife and mother, Osceola County authorities said Friday night.
Janice Zengotita-Torres, 42, was abducted from her Kissimmee home on Jan. 7 and her body was discovered in Ormond Beach the next day, police said.
But Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said Zengotita-Torres was not even the intended target of the alleged attackers, Alexis Ramos, 22, and his girlfriend, Glorianmarie Quinones Montes.
Ramos and Montes told authorities they had been contracted by the third suspect, Ishnar Marie Lopez. Lopez ordered the hit against a woman who was engaged in a relationship with “the man she loved,” Gibson said.
The three suspects moved to Central Florida from Puerto Rico in late December, Gibson said.
Ramos and his girlfriend tracked the woman to a Ross Dress For Less store at The Loop in Kissimmee on Jan. 7. They saw a woman they thought was the intended target exiting the store, Gibson said.
But it wasn’t – It was local resident Zengotita-Torres.
Ramos and his girlfriend followed Zengotita-Torres back to her apartment, where they forced her into the back of her own car and drove to an apartment near The Mall at Millenia in Orlando. The victim was forced to give the suspects her ATM card and PIN, the sheriff said.
The alleged attackers soon realized they had the wrong person, Gibson said.
“However, the suspects continued with their plan of murder and tied the victim with zip ties and then [covered] her head in duct tape and garbage bags,” he said.
Ramos beat the woman until she was unconscious, Gibson said.
Zengotita-Torres died from suffocation, he said.
The suspects drove Zengotita-Torres’ vehicle with her inside and dumped her body near Tomoka Avenue and Bennett Lane in Ormond Beach late Sunday or early Monday, the sheriff said.
The suspects dumped the victim’s vehicle near Holden Avenue in Orange County, Gibson said.
Zengotita-Torres’ family reported her missing Monday morning.
Spectrum cable workers discovered a body later identified as Zengotita-Torres around 9 a.m. Monday.
“She was the target of a senseless act of violence in which she was robbed of her life,” said Gibson during a press conference.
Lopez was arrested early Friday when she tried to use the victim’s ATM card, Gibson said. Ramos and his girlfriend were later arrested at an Orange County hotel.
All three suspects confessed, Gibson said.
Deputies contacted the actual intended victim of the plot and offered protective services, but she declined assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, he said.
Zengotita-Torres came to the Kissimmee area with her husband, teenage son and mother, he said.
Ramos, Quinones and Montes were booked into the Osceola County Jail Friday on murder charges.