Elizabeth man charged with murder, kidnapping

An Elizabeth man has been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal stabbing and kidnapping that took place Saturday morning, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Sunday.

Saloman Rosendo Gomez-Serpas, 23, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and a second-degree weapons offense following the death of 30-year-old Mario Ortiz of Elizabeth.

It was approximately 4 a.m. on Saturday when members of the Elizabeth Police Department responded to the Imperial Latino Lounge on the 600 block of New Point Road and found Ortiz, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

A fast-moving investigation involving the Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Task Force and High Tech Unit, the Elizabeth Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Unit revealed that Gomez-Serpas and Ortiz had been arguing in the Lounge’s parking lot when the defendant stabbed Ortiz in the chest, then ordered a woman who was present into a nearby vehicle that immediately fled the scene.   

Gomez-Serpas was located and arrested at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday at an apartment on the 500 block of Marshall Street in Elizabeth, where the female present at the time of the homicide was also found unharmed.

State Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Donohue set bail at $1 million, and Gomez-Serpas was lodged in Union County Jail.

This matter remains under active investigation. Anyone with information about the death of Mr. Ortiz is being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Michael Manochio at 908-966-2287, Detective Brendan Sullivan at 908-966-0999, or Detective Danika Ramos at 908-965-3807.