Victim of Newport Nursery Murder Identified, Suspect Charged

Updated: 02/14/2014 3:29 PM
Created: 02/14/2014 1:37 PM
By: Megan Stewart

A St. Paul man has been charged Friday in connection to a murder of his co-worker Thursday afternoon.

Gregorio Maso Ramirez, 69, is facing one count of murder in the second degree for a stabbing at Bailey Nurseries in Newport that killed 45-year-old Uriel Navarro Ortiz, of Fridley.

On Friday, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined Ortiz bled to death following the alleged attack by Ramirez.

Police responded to Bailey Nurseries at 1325 Bailey Road in Newport just before 4 p.m. Thursday for a medical emergency. Upon arrival officers discovered Ortiz has been stabbed multiple times and his bloodied left hand may have been missing some fingers, authorities said.

Investigators identified Ramirez as the suspect in the homicide. According to the preliminary investigation, Ramirez was the only person with Ortiz at the time of the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, an employee saw Ramirez and Ortiz talking in the lunchroom. The witness said Ramirez asked Ortiz for a ride home. Ortiz declined, the complaint said.

The witness then left the lunchroom. When he returned, he saw Ortiz lying on the floor of the lunchroom bleeding, the complaint said.

Authorities said Ramirez left the nursery immediately after the incident, but later turned himself in to the St. Paul Police Department. Police immediately transported Ramirez to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for a large cut on his right hand, which he sustained during the incident, authorities said.

A knife believed to be the murder weapon was located on Thursday night in St. Paul near Ramirez's apartment, authorities said. They also found blood leading up the stairs to the residence.

Investigators do not believe this was a random crime and do not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety.

Ramirez admitted to bringing the knife to work and stabbing Ortiz, according to the criminal complaint.

The BCA and Newport Police Department are investigating the crime with assistance from the Woodbury, St. Paul Park and St. Paul police departments, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Ramirez's next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28. in Washington County.

Gregario Maso Ramirez
Photo: KSTP/File
The outside of Bailey's Nursery in Newport.
Photo: KSTP/File

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