UPDATE: Former Valley Head football star charged in DeKalb County woman’s death

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Joseph Riley Henderson is charged with capital murder.

Joseph Riley Henderson is charged with capital murder.

CENTRE, Ala. (WHNT)-  Cherokee County deputies have arrested a 17-year-old male in connection to the death of Sarah Ortiz of Valley Head in DeKalb County.

Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver announced late Saturday that Riley Joseph Henderson, 17, of Cedar Bluff, was arrested and charged with capital murder in Ortiz’s death.

Sarah Ortiz

Sarah Ortiz

Ortiz’s family reported the 20-year-old woman missing back on July 14.   A fisherman found her body several days later in Weiss Lake in Cherokee County.

Henderson is charged with capital murder because Ortiz was killed during a robbery, according to the District Attorney’s Office.  The two were acquaintances, investigators said.

Riley Henderson was the leading tackler for Valley Head’s football team during the 2013 season.  He was chosen to the Class 1A Region 7 All-Star team.


  • Nuclear Mike

    One life lost forever as the young woman who will never experience a full life. and another life that will be lost to prison or execution…such misery for their Families to deal with for the rest of their lives….

    • Porsche

      So the thug gets to spend the rest of his life in our Prison Resorts with free health care, free laundry, free cable, free exercise room, free phone service, …. We need to send these murderer thugs to 3rd world prisons that are real prisons. That way we can make these 3rd world countries earn the tax dollars we send to these 3rd world countries. Our Prison Resorts create no fear of consequences for criminal behavior.

      • Tiffany

        You obviously have never had to visit one of our prison resorts as you call them. They are not like everyone thinks. Try fear when you never know if the person next to you is gonna try to murder you just because they dont wanna look at you anymore.

  • brooke

    Innocent until proven guilty, have some faith in humanity instead of jumping on the band wagon and assuming. People like yall are what is wrong with this sick world. Give people a chance my heavens!

  • Tiffany Smith

    He confessed to what he did & he deserves to be done just like he did her along with the others involved.

    • Michael

      Link? Even if he did, he still gets his day in court. People have made false confessions to the police many times before. Confessions don’t always mean what you think they mean. This is why you never talk to the police without a lawyer.

  • Tiffany

    There were also two other people with him and they are not charged with anything how is that? And confession or not he still deserves his day in court.

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