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Fundraiser started to help North Bergen family

The body of Eladio Ortiz, husband and father of two, was found at the Tonnelle Avenue light rail station

Eladio Ortiz and his family

The older brother of a North Bergen man who went missing and was later found dead is appealing to family and friends to help raise the funds needed to ease the financial burden on the departed man’s family.

Eladio Ortiz was a husband and father of two young daughters. His Facebook page said he was president of East Continental Trucking SVC, a cargo and freight company located in Newark. When a man was found dead on Feb. 13, according to the North Bergen Police Department he was identified as Ortiz, a North Bergen resident who had been reported missing by the Ortiz family on Feb. 3.

According to authorities, his body was discovered at the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station at Tonnelle Avenue and 51st Street around 4 p.m.

The North Bergen police and the Ortiz family had asked for the public’s help in its search for Ortiz, posting his photos and information on social media in hopes of leads pertaining to his whereabouts.

The cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to the NBPD, the weapon used in the suicide was a Glock handgun. Police said the handgun was owned by and legally registered to the deceased.

A family in mourning

Will Ortiz, the older brother of the deceased, lamented the loss of Eladio as well as the recent passing of their mother.

“To all my family and friends, please help us raise the funds to ease the burden on the Ortiz family for the loss of my mother and now my brother,” he said in a statement.

Their mother, Maria Antonia Escalera, died last month. The funeral was held on Feb. 27 in North Bergen.

In the wake of Escalera’s death, Eladio Ortiz said he was feeling “sad” and “heartbroken” in Facebook posts published in the immediate days following her death.

“I will never allow your memory to be forgotten,” Eladio wrote in a post.

Will Ortiz thanked those offering support and linked to a Go Fund Me page that was set up to support the family during their bereavement and to honor Eladio.

“Thank you for all the support and prayers you have shown my family in the tragic time in my life,” he said.

According to the Go Fund Me page, the fundraiser was set up by Eladio’s wife Jessica Ortiz.

“Eladio Ortiz was a charming, loving, hardworking husband and father,” Jessica Ortiz wrote on the fundraiser web page. “Our lives will now be a bit darker without him in it.”

The fundraiser page said that his passing was sudden and unexpected and because of that they are asking for help. The fundraiser is asking for any donations to support the funeral costs and to help the Ortiz family adjust.

“We are looking to raise money to help lay him to rest and get his wife and daughters through the next couple of weeks,” the fundraiser page stated. “As you can imagine they will need a little time to adjust to their new normal.”

A legacy of love

So far, the fundraiser has collected $5,730 of its $10,000 goal. At press time, 77 people had donated to the Ortiz family in honor of Eladio, many leaving comments mourning his loss.

“Eladio was a good guy, he will be missed,” Mario Canetti wrote. “He will be remembered by many. Rest in peace. I hope your family can heal and move forward to live life to the fullest.”

The Avila Perez family donated to the cause, offering their thoughts and prayers to the Ortiz family.

“I know there are no right words that can provide any comfort through this tough moment,” the Perez family wrote. “He is no longer here in person, but his spirit will forever be with all those he loved.”

Gabriela Levoyer offered her heartfelt condolences to Jessica and the family.

“With all my thoughts, positive vibes, and prayers for you and your family,” she wrote. “May the love of family and friends comfort you and the girls as best as possible during these difficult days.”

Christina and Adnan Lebron also donated to the family, expressing their deep love for Eladio.

“I love this man with everything, my blood my family,” the Lebrons wrote. “I will carry you with me always and forever. This is a heartbreak that no amount of time will heal.”

In the past, Eladio Ortiz advocated for suicide prevention on his social media.

Those interested can donate to the Ortiz family at the Go Fund Me page for Eladio.

“In honor of this great human being let’s get the word out and help the family have one less thing to worry about during such a devastating time,” the fundraiser stated. “Whether the donation is small or large we will be endlessly grateful, let’s come together and spread love and kindness during this time.”

In 2018, Eladio asked friends to donate to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for his birthday.

“For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me,” Eladio Ortiz said in a Facebook post.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Dan Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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