NewsTreasure CoastRegion Martin CountyStuart


2 men arrested in Martin County after victim suffers 'violent death' from cinder block bludgeoning

Body of Otoniel Miqueas Ordonez Duenas found near Walmart plaza located at 4001 Southeast Federal Hwy.
Posted at 12:58 PM, Oct 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-23 17:56:12-04

STUART, Fla. — Two people are in custody after a missing man's body was discovered this past weekend at a homeless camp near a Walmart Supercenter in Stuart.

The arrests were announced Monday afternoon during a news conference held at the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Chief Deputy John Budensiek said the investigation began Friday when family members contacted their department regarding a missing person.

The missing person was identified as Otoniel Miqueas Ordonez Duenas, 26, who deputies said "liked to party" and "was a drinker" and had not returned after a night out Thursday.

Watch the full news conference below:

2 homeless men in custody after victim beaten to death with cinder block, body found near Stuart Walmart

Then, family members on Sunday contacted the sheriff's office to say that they had located the missing man's backpack and bicycle at the homeless camp.

Deputies arrived at the area to investigate and later located Duenas' body, which resulted from a "violent death."

Investigators, including detectives with the Stuart Police Department, later arrested two suspects in the case identified as Codie Rodney Cartwright, 24, and Alexander Jeremiah Davis Jr., 21, both of whom are homeless.

Budensiek said that Cartwright told detectives the reason he killed Duenas was that "the victim made unwanted sexual gestures or suggestions to him."

"At that point, (Cartwright) went into a fit of rage and used a cinder block to bludgeon our victim," Budensiek said.

Duenas suffered multiple head wounds including a broken neck and leg.

The probable cause affidavit stated that once the beating was done, Cartwright said, "I think I killed him." Detectives said he asked Davis to move the body further into some palmetto trees.

The sheriff's office said Davis then helped Cartwright dispose of the body by wrapping it up in a tarp and moving it to the location behind the Walmart located at 4001 Southeast Federal Hwy.

Cartwright faces a charge of second-degree murder in the case while Davis faces a charge of accessory after the killing.

Both suspects are being held at the Martin County jail without bond.