'My world just crumbled': Arvin Otero's widow seeks closure as her husband's killer remains at-large
ORLANDO, Fla. - June 1, 2019, was the worst day of Yaritza Rodriguez’s life. On that day, her husband, Arvin Otero was gunned down inside his workplace, a Winter Park barbershop.
Surveillance video captured a gunman masked and covered from head to toe. Detectives say he opened fire, shooting three barbers, killing Arvin Otero. Soon after, his wife got a knock on the door from family friends.
"They said, he died; my world just crumbled, it’s like I can’t tell you how I still feel," explained his widow, Rodriguez. "I wanted to go to the hospital like I need to see him, and he’s not dead. I need to go. I need to go."
Investigators are now left looking for clues and the killer who was very deliberate about his actions. Detective Brian Savelli was on the case since day one. He says the suspect walked in and out of the shop twice.
"It’s very even hard to tell what race this person is if we’re looking for a white male, Hispanic male, Asian male. We don't even know the complexion of his skin just because he's covered head to toe," said Detective Savelli. "Really the only thing that we can tell is he’s a thin male. He walks with a distinct gait."
Meanwhile, Arvin’s wife is left only with sweet memories to pass on to their 4-year-old daughter, growing up without her father. Rodriguez remembers Arvin leaving for work that morning, not knowing it would be the last time they would see him.
"We walk him to the car, it was my daughter and I, I give him his lunch and he said ‘I’m going to be very busy today because you know there’s a vacation, so I’ll get home late, I will call you’" she recalled.
Their love story dating back to their childhood, growing up together in Puerto Rico, ended in a nightmare here in Central Florida.
"I waited for him to come back home, like I would go down those stairs, and wait for him to come back home. Like I would go down the stairs and wait for him to open the door he would do. I couldn’t believe it," said Rodriguez.
It’s a nightmare she can’t wake up from. "Sometimes at night those memories and those feelings come back," she said.
Arvin’s story is also a part of "Project: Cold Case." The organization put together playing cards with the faces of victims whose cases are still unsolved. Their hope is by spreading the cards, and the pictures of the victims, they’ll raise awareness and help get justice.