A Sudden Heart Attack
Marcos Ortiz, a senior crime and justice reporter for ABC4, died unexpectedly at his home on Saturday, November 5, 2022. He was 68 years old. The cause of his death was determined to be a sudden heart attack, according to ABC4.
Ortiz was an Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, who was best known for his extensive work in shining a light on unsolved crimes across Utah with his Justice Files series and for helping bring awareness to missing persons with Missing in Utah.
A Long and Distinguished Career
Ortiz was born in Sandy, Utah, on July 5, 1954. He was the youngest of 11 children and the son of immigrant parents. His career spanned radio, newspaper, and television. He began his time with ABC4 in 2004, but his work in journalism spanned over 30 years. He was a fixture in Salt Lake City television since 1992.
He started work as a teenager in Blythe, California, in the 1980s in radio before returning to Green River, Wyoming, to work in print journalism. After several years, he finally made it to television in Cheyenne. There, he met his future wife, Sandy Olney. The two moved to Albuquerque and later to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they married in 1988. The couple welcomed their daughter Olivia in 1995. She is currently living in Chicago after graduating from the University of Utah’s law school in 2021 — a point her father was particularly proud of.
Ortiz was a devout Catholic who leaned on his faith to guide him through some of the most difficult crime stories he had to cover throughout his career.
A Legacy of Truth and Justice
Ortiz was widely respected and admired by his colleagues, sources, and viewers for his professionalism, integrity, and compassion. He was never afraid to pursue the truth and hold the powerful accountable. He was also known for his kindness and generosity towards his fellow journalists and the community.
He received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case in 2003. He also received several nominations from the Utah Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Ortiz’s death has left a huge void in the Utah media landscape and in the hearts of many who knew him. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Sandy, and his daughter Olivia.
Funeral and Memorial Arrangements
Ortiz’s funeral service was held on Thursday, November 11, 2022, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Sandy. His memorial service was held on Friday, November 12, 2022, at ABC4’s studio in Salt Lake City. Both events were attended by hundreds of people who came to pay their respects and honor his life and legacy.
Ortiz’s family has requested that donations be made to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children or the National Alliance on Mental Illness in lieu of flowers.