Man Charged with Murder and Arson Which Killed Two on Christmas Morning, Fought with Family Members at a Party Earlier That Night

January 12, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Ronal Ordonez-Lima, 28, has been charged with two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated arson and five counts of arson. For an early Christmas morning fire that killed two people and left several homeless.

According to police, there were six occupants of 221 Rusling Street at the time of the fire, four of whom escaped the residence.  Firefighters located two deceased adults on the second floor.  The victims have been identified as Selvin Lima and Dilman Canpos, both adult males.

In Court documents, the affidavit submitted by Detective Marc Masseroni of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, stated that on December 25, 2021, at 3:29 a.m. Trenton Police Communications received a 9-1-1 call for a fire at 221 Rusling Avenue. There were reports of people trapped inside the burning structure. Firefighters arrived on scene and began efforts to extinguish the fire. The fire spread to multiple other structures and vehicles in the immediate area.

Once the fire was under control, firefighters located two bodies still inside 221 Rusling avenue on the 2nd floor.

Review of surveillance video of the area detectives observed an individual to be on the porch of 221 Rusling Avenue prior to the fire.

Detective Marc Masseroni stated as he approached 221 Rusling Avenue he observed fire damage from 223 Rusling Avenue to 215 Rusling Avenue. There was also fire damage to 213 Rusling Avenue. Upon an initial walkthrough he observed the most significant damage to the front door of 221 Rusling. Heavy fire damage was seen throughout the entire structure. In the affidavit it stated two bodies were observed in the residence. One body was located on the second-floor mid-bedroom and the other in the 2nd floor front bedroom.

The Homicide Task Force obtained video surveillance showing an individual later identified as Ronal Lima-Ordonez dressed in black shoes, black pants and a black and white colored shirt with a dark colored sweater over top. He walks onto the front porch of 221 Rusling Avenue at approximately 2:55 a.m. At 3:12 a.m. Lima-Ordonez lights a cigarette/cigar and begins to smoke it on the front porch. Lima-Ordonez continues to walk toward the front door and back towards the steps at various times. At approximately 3:18 a.m., Lima-Ordonez flicks his cigarette/cigar onto the sidewalk, walks back toward the door for approximately 30 seconds and then departs the front porch and walks toward Division Street. Immediately following his departure from the front porch, a flickering light can be seen coming from the front porch area near the door. Over the next several minutes, the fire continues to grow and extend toward the windows directly adjacent to the front door.

According to the affidavit family members were interviewed and the sister of Ronal Lima-Ordonez stated that Lima-Ordonez had got into a fight with her husband. She explained that she was pushed by her brother and that was when they began physically fighting.

Another male relative stated that he had gotten into a physical altercation with Ronal LIma-Ordonez at a party on Mott Street. The relative explained that Lima-Ordonez got physical with his wife and he defended her. During the fight he had punched Lima-Ordonez multiple times. After the fight he and his wife walked back to 221 Rusling Avenue.

A full copy of the affidavit is listed below:


Certification in Support of Arrest Warrant – Ronal Ordonez-Lima

On December 25, 2021, at approximately 0329 hours, Trenton Communications received a 911 call for a fire occurring at 221 Rusling Avenue, Trenton, New Jersey with people trapped inside. At approximately 0336 hours, Fire apparatus arrive on scene and began efforts to extinguish the fire. Fire spread to multiple other structures and vehicles in the immediate vicinity and displaced numerous individuals in the area.

At approximately 0346 hours, Trenton Police were dispatched to the area on a report of an active fire. Upon arrival, Officers canvased the area and obtained identifying information of the residents that were displaced from the fire. Individuals identified as occupants of 221 Rusling Avenue included FM, EM, RM, SL, DC, AL, KC. Trenton Officers provided security of the scene until it was later released at approximately 1644 hours.

At approximately 0520 hours Detective Michael Cipriano, Trenton Police Department and Detective Charles Antinoro, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit were notified and responded to the scene. Once the fire was under control, Fire fighters located two bodies still inside 221 Rusling Avenue on the second floor of the structure. Upon initial review of surveillance video from 214 Rusling Avenue, Det. Cipriano and Det. Antinoro observed an individual to be on the front porch area of 221 Rusling Avenue prior to the fire. Mercer County Homicide Task force were advised and responded to the scene.

Based on the above, Det. Antinoro submitted a certification in support of a search warrant for 221 Rusling Avenue. At 0947 hours, Honorable Patrick J. Bartels, J.S.C., electronically signed said search warrant for 221 Rusling Avenue.

Prior to my arrival, Det. Vincent Gribbin arrived on scene to assist with photographs of the scene and evidence collection.

At approximately 1030 hours, I arrived on scene and observed caution tape surrounding the area. Trenton Officers were maintaining security of the scene and logged anyone who entered the scene. After providing my name, I entered the scene. As I approached 221 Rusling Avenue, I observed fire damage from 223 Rusling Avenue to 215 Rusling Avenue. I later learned that there was fire damage to 213 Rusling. Upon an initial walkthrough, I observed the most significant damage to the front door area of 221 Rusling Avenue. Heavy fire damage throughout the entire structure with damage dissipating toward the back of the first floor. Damage increased the higher into the structure I went with the roof and floors ultimately collapsing from the 3rd floor down onto the 2nd floor. I observed a total of two bodies inside the residence. One located on the second-floor mid-bedroom floor and one on the 2nd floor front bedroom floor.

Detective In Charge Reyes, Mercer County Homicide Task Force, and I spoke with FM while at the scene. FM agreed to come back to the Mercer County Homicide Task Force Office, to speak with us. DIC Reyes provided translation while speaking with FM. During his statement, FM explained that he was woken up by neighbors who were throwing objects at his window. He escaped through the front bedroom window and climbed down from a neighboring house.

During a cause and origin search, investigators sifted through debris in attempts to locate evidence and indications of an ignitable liquid being utilized. New Jersey State Fire Marshal Investigator Letts utilized his K-9 “Titan” to attempt to locate an accelerator. K-9 “Titan” made a positive indication on an unidentified item, believed to be a rag, located to the right of the porch steps. This item was collected as Sample one (1) and submitted into evidence. Several other locations on the porch were taken as evidence and submitted under sample two (2), three

(3) and four (4). Item five (5) was a control sample taken as a comparison for testing purposes. It should be noted that a lighter and a cigarette was located along the curb and street in front of 221 Rusling Street. These items were also taken as evidence.

Cause and origin search of the residence showed an origin to be in sill area of the front entryway door with a cause to be undetermined, pending test results from the NJSP Lab for accelerants from samples taken as evidence. It should be noted that witness statements confirmed the area origin to be between the front door and storm door.

It should be noted that simultaneously, Members of the Homicide Task force obtained video surveillance from the area of 221 Rusling Avenue. Upon review of said surveillance, an individual, later identified as Rona) Lima-Ordonez DOB- (also known as Rona Ordonez-Lima) dressed in black shoes, black pants, a black and white colored shirt with a dark colored sweater over top, walks onto the front porch of 221 Rusling Avenue at approximately 0255 hours. At approximately 0312 hours, Lima-Ordonez lights a cigarette/cigar and begins to smoke it on the front porch. Lima-Ordonez continues to walk toward the front door and back toward the steps at various times. At approximately 0318 hours, Lima-Ordonez flicks his cigarette/cigar onto the sidewalk, walks back toward the door for approximately 30 seconds and then departs the front porch and walks toward Division Street. Immediately following his departure from the front porch, a flickering light can be seen coming from the front porch area near the door. Over the next several minutes, the fire continues to grow and extent toward the windows directly adjacent to the front door.

At approximately 0329 hours, multiple individuals exit 227 Rusling Avenue and begin to throw items at the front of the house, breaking windows to alert the occupants of the fire. Two individuals identified as FM and RM jump out of the second-floor front bedroom window onto the roof of the porch and walk down toward 215 Rusling Avenue where they jump to safety. Fire department then arrives on scene and begins efforts to extinguish the fire.

After completing the cause and origin search, DIC Reyes and I spoke with KC, JR, and FM. All agreed to come back to the Mercer County Homicide Task Force office to speak with us.

During the interviews, a video clip obtained from 800 Division Street at approximately 0320 hours (real time) showing Lima-Ordonez walking away from 221 Rusling toward Division Street was placed a laptop computer to be shown to witnesses. This clip was shown to FM who identified the individual in the video an individual he knows as “Leon”. FM further stated that “Leon” is the brother of AL.

On December 26, 2021, Homicide Task Force members proceeded to 43 Busher Alley, Trenton, New Jersey to locate EM and AL. After speaking with them, they agreed to come back to the Mercer County Homicide Task Force office to speak with us.

DIC Reyes conducted the interview of both individuals because of a language barrier. During the interview of EM, He stated that himself, Selvin Lima and JR met his wife AL at 20 Mott Street, Trenton, New Jersey for a party. During that time he had gotten into a physical altercation with Ronal Lima-Ordonez. EM explained that Lima-Ordonez got physical with his wife and he (EM) defended her. During the fight he had punched Lima-Ordonez multiple times. EM explained that after the fight was broken up, he walked back to 221 Rusling Avenue and FM picked up AL from the party and brought her back to 221 Rusling Avenue. EM was shown the video clip obtained from 800 Division Street that was previously shown to FM. While reviewing the video, EM positively identified Ronal Lima-Ordonez. It should be noted that EM confirmed that Ronal Lima-Ordonez is known to smoke cigarettes.

DIC Reyes also spoke with AL. During the interview, AL confirmed that her brother Ronal Lima-Ordonez is her brother. She further stated that Lima-Ordonez had gotten into a fight with her husband EM. She explained that she was pushed by her brother and that was when they began physically fighting. Shortly after, she was taken home by FM. AL was shown the video clip obtained from 800 Division Street that was previously shown to FM and EM. While reviewing the video, she positively identified Ronal Lima-Ordonez on the video. It should be noted that AL confirmed that Ronal Lima-Ordonez is known to smoke cigarettes.

A publicly accessible search on Facebook.com found Facebook account “ronal.lima.37” with associated vanity name “Lima Ronal (Leon)” depicting Ronal Lima-Ordonez. Under the “Ronal’s Photo” tab, I observed Lima-Ordonez post a picture of himself on May 20, 2020 wearing a button-down collared shirt similar in style as that observed on surveillance video obtained from the area of 221 Rusling Avenue.

A Search through Trenton RMS system showed Lima-Ordonez to have a current address of 60 Division St Apt 3, Trenton, New jersey. Members of the Homicide Task force proceeded to 60 Division Street apt 3 in an attempt to locate him. After knocking on 60 Division Street Apt 3, Lima-Ordonez answered the door. Lima-Ordonez agreed to come back to speak with detectives regarding the incident. Lima-Ordonez was transported back by Detectives and placed into interview room 217. It should be noted that Lima-Ordonez had scratches and visible bruising on his face.

Upon reading Lima-Ordonez his Miranda, he invoked his right to have an attorney present. The interview was stopped, and Lima-Ordonez was held pending criminal charges.

I certify that the foregoing statements made by me are true. I am aware that if any of the foregoing statements made by me are willfully false, I am subject to punishment.

Dated: 12/27/2021

Detective Marc Masseroni

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Homicide Task Force