Family of Bronx teen stabbed, set on fire speaks out about the tragedy

HIGHBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- The family of a Bronx teen who was fatally stabbed and set on fire Wednesday spoke out about the horrific tragedy.

Winston Ortiz was living a second chance at life.

At 18, he'd survived a brain aneurysm and was active in church.

"He cared so much about the people that he loved, he was just the best person," the victim's brother Wilson Ortiz said.

But Thursday night, Winston Ortiz's younger sibling is contemplating life without him.

The victim's alleged killer, Adonis Betances, claimed he was innocent when police took him to central booking.

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A 22-year-old man was arrested in the death of a teenager who was stabbed and then set on fire in the Bronx Wednesday.

But mid-afternoon Wednesday, officers say the 22-year-old Betances stabbed Ortiz three times, doused him with gasoline and burned him alive.

Ortiz was still awake and praying when the first officers arrived. Sources say he named his killer.

"I still cant believe that, what goes through your mind that you go through the lengths and brutally murder someone like that," Wilson Ortiz said.

The 18-year-old was in a relationship with Betances's little sister, and family members say she'd recently broken up with him.

Detectives are now trying to figure out if she lured him to a fifth floor apartment around the corner from his home, where her brother laid in wait.

RELATED | Teen set on fire in the Bronx has died, suspect on the run: Police

The motive isn't completely clear.

What is clear is the wreckage left behind.

"Wow he's arrested, what do we do after that?" Wilson Ortiz said. "No amount of criminal punishment would be able to make up for the fact that my brother's just gone. He just mercilessly took a life away."

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