Wildwood man beaten to death at a hotel in New Orleans

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:31 PM CST
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WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOV) - A community is mourning the loss of a Wildwood man who was killed in New Orleans last week.

David Sorenson was on a trip to New Orleans with his wife when he was beaten to death in a hotel room. Sorenson’s friend Mike Etzel is trying to process the death days later.

“Terrible,” Etzel says. “Just terrible that this kind of thing would happen to such a kind soul.”

The suspect, Martin Hurtado, is charged with second-degree murder. Court documents show Hurtado told police all he could remember from that night was drinking at work. Court documents explain Hortado walked along the sixth floor of the Avenue Plaza Hotel in New Orleans before knocking on the room Sorenson and his wife were in.

Sorenson’s wife told investigators when she opened the door, Hortado pushed his way in and began hitting her husband.

“For something like this to happen, the way it went down, it’s just horrific,” Etzel says. “Everybody here is in shock.”

Sorenson is described as a lover of Blues music, which is what brought him and Etzel together as friends more than five years ago. Etzel says Sorenson was also a family man, beloved by those who knew him.

“He would do anything for anybody,” Etzel says. “He was a very honest man. If you asked him a question, you better expect the truth whether you liked it or not. He was gonna give you the truth. He would give it with a soft smile. Just a good guy.”

Etzel is asking people to help stop the violence happening across the country. “Speak up,” Etzel says. “Be a voice. Do what you can to help everybody around you feel a little safer.”

Etzel is using this time to remember the friend he cared about.

“Model yourself to be like Dave,” Etzel says. “Kind and respectful. Understanding.”

Hurtado’s bail is set at $350,000.