Sept. 4, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The family of a 34-year-old Woodside man is grieving and searching for answers after his untimely death.
Jhonatan Rodrigo Ordoñez, father to four children, died on Aug. 27, a week after he was found unconscious with a head injury in a driveway by 42nd Street and 50th Avenue—two houses away from his residence.
Ordoñez was discovered just before 6 a.m. on Aug. 20 by his elderly neighbor, who went outside after she heard a loud bang. Seeing nothing, she began watering her plants, and discovered his strewn, unresponsive body in her driveway, wet from the plant watering.
The elderly woman’s screams alerted Ordoñez’ mother, who ran out and realized that the man, with a gash across his forehead, was her son.
Ordoñez was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where he underwent several emergency surgeries.
“They told us that he had to get brain surgery right away or he was going to die,” said Evelyn Terrero, Ordoñez’ 28-year-old sister.
But Ordoñez’ surgeries could not save him, and he was eventually declared brain dead the same day. He was taken off his ventilator days later.
“He was in a coma, he had a fever, and his organs began to fail,” Terrero said.
Detectives from the 108th Precinct are currently investigating the incident, which includes conducting an extensive canvas of the area, the NYPD said.
In addition, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed it is investigating Ordoñez’ death. The cause and manner of death, however, have yet to be determined.
Detectives, according to the family, say Ordoñez could have died as a result of a fall, tumbling from the house’s balcony onto the driveway. But the family believes Ordoñez must have been followed and attacked on his way to the Woodside home, where he was living for the past two years with his mom.
He used to live on Long Island with his four children, ranging from age 9 to 16, and his wife, whom he was seeking to separate from.
Terrero said the family pleaded for new detectives to take on the case. New detectives were assigned last week.
An NYPD spokesperson could not confirm if new detectives were assigned because of the family’s requests. He noted, however, that detectives at the precinct squad level often work collaboratively on different cases.
Still, the family is desperately seeking any answers to Ordoñez’ death and are asking the public for information concerning his case.
“We want to see who saw something,” Terrero said. “Someone must have seen something.”
Ordoñez, whose body will be cremated, with some of his organs to be donated to needy recipients, was described as the life of the party who was never seen without a smile on his face.
“We still can’t believe it,” Terrero said. “It’s impossible not to hear his voice.”