‘He was an icon in Utah’: Marcos Ortiz, longtime ABC4 reporter, dies at 68

Nov 7, 2022, 3:39 PM
ABC4 reporter Marcos Ortiz died unexpectedly on Saturday, according to the station. He was 68. (KTV...
ABC4 reporter Marcos Ortiz died unexpectedly on Saturday, according to the station. He was 68. (KTVX-ABC4)

SALT LAKE CITY — Marcos Ortiz, a longtime TV reporter in Utah, died unexpectedly at his home Saturday, ABC4 announced on Sunday. He was 68.

Ortiz had worked at the station since 2004, serving as ABC4’s senior crime and justice reporter at the time of his death. His work included the Justice Files series and Missing in Utah, according to station executives. The cause of his death has not yet been released.

“Words are difficult to find as we learned of the loss of our colleague and friend, Marcos Ortiz,” said Mark Danielson, the general manager and vice president for ABC4, in a statement. “He was an icon in Utah: a journalist, a mentor, a coach and a friend. He reminded us how to be curious while leading by example. He will be missed by all and remembered always.”

Ortiz, originally from Lovell, Wyoming, began his career in Blythe, California, before winding up in Utah 30 years ago. He served as a general assignments reporter before working on the crime beat, according to his ABC4 bio.

Tributes have poured in from Utah’s journalism community since his death was announced. Kim Fischer, a former ABC4 anchor, tweeted that Ortiz’s death is “an immense loss.”

“(He) truly cared about doing what was right,” her tweet reads. “My experiences with Marcos were always filled with kindness, support, and thoughtful advice when I needed it. He will always be a mentor and a friend.”

Jillian Smukler, the station’s morning and midday news anchor, said that Ortiz was someone she admired since working with him.

“He is an extremely talented journalist but an even better person,” she tweeted. “I will miss our talks, especially about how proud you are of your daughter, Olivia. You are already so missed Marcos.”

Ortiz is survived by his wife of 34 years, Sandy Olney, and their daughter, Olivia, station staff noted. They added he was a devout Catholic; his bio noted that he enjoyed walks with his dog, riding his bike and working on his backyard in his off time.

Funeral arrangements had not yet been announced as of Monday.

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‘He was an icon in Utah’: Marcos Ortiz, longtime ABC4 reporter, dies at 68