Breaking News

National News

June 12, 2013

NY woman helps track suspect in dad’s 1986 killing

NEW YORK — An aspiring actress has helped police track down a suspect in her father’s 1986 slaying.

Periodically, over the last few years, Joselyn Martinez would try to find information about the man accused of shooting and killing her father outside his restaurant on Nov. 22, 1986, when she was 9 years old.

Beginning in 2006, she trolled Myspace and Facebook for information. In 2011, she wrote a letter to “America’s Most Wanted.” Through it all, she spent her own money, dishing out payments of $69.99 to various online search programs that turn up potential addresses and phone numbers for people.

And on Friday, her efforts were vindicated when police arrested Justo Santos on charges he murdered her father, Jose Martinez, outside his Dominican restaurant in the city’s Washington Heights neighborhood 27 years ago.

“It’s amazing,” Martinez, 36, said Tuesday. “I didn’t plan for this. It’s been surreal.”

Police said Santos, whose arrest in Miami was first reported by the Daily News, has made statements implicating himself in the killing. On Tuesday, Santos agreed to let police return him to New York later. He was in police custody Tuesday and wasn’t available for comment, and there was no information on whether he had an attorney. He has a Miami court date later this month.

Witnesses to the 1986 killing said they had seen Santos, and he was quickly named by detectives as a suspect, but he fled to the Dominican Republic shortly after.

Martinez, who has appeared in Spanish-language music videos, radio commercials and a video game and wants to be in TV shows and movies, said there was “no plan” in her search efforts over the years.

“It was totally, absolutely in my eyes, totally random,” said Martinez, who has appeared on the Dominican TV show “Divertido con Jochy,” or “Fun with Jochy.”

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Tuesday that Santos, 43, had been jailed in the Dominican Republic in an unrelated case about two years after the Martinez killing but served just more than a year before he was released. Kelly said Martinez’s case was closed upon news of Santos’ incarceration in the Dominican Republic — something that should never have happened.

“They should not have closed the case,” Kelly said.

Unlike today, the New York Police Department did not have liaisons in the Dominican Republican at that time.

But Joselyn Martinez continued her own search, saving her search results to a folder on her laptop dedicated to solving her father’s killing.

“I didn’t suddenly find him. This took years of putting away efforts,” she said. “It just took many years, and I felt like I was doing something. I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t want people to think I was crazy.”

Martinez said in February she met with detectives from a cold-case squad to turn over all the information she’d uncovered, including a search result with Santos’ name, address and phone number in Miami. She said detectives from the cold-case squad used her information and traveled to Miami, where they made the arrest without incident.

“I just feel like I had to do it for my father,” she said, “and it’s up to New York state to decide what happens next.”

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • 10 Things to Know for Wednesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • A bipolar doctor probes the brain on 'Black Box’

    ABC’s brainy new medical drama “Black Box” does a neat trick: It dares viewers to imagine for themselves the cost-benefit ratio of addiction, and does it without taking a firm stand.

    April 22, 2014

  • Courthouse violence unpredictable despite security

    When Utah’s new federal courthouse opened last week, it came with security improvements that are becoming standard around the country: separate entrances and elevators for judges, defendants and the public; bullet-resistant glass and paneling; and vehicle barricades to keep car bombs at bay.

    April 22, 2014

  • Lucey is tops in Iowa’s ‘Beautiful Bulldog’ event

    Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch whose human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.

    April 22, 2014

  • Cuban-American leaders helped ’Cuban Twitter’

    Leaders with the largest nonprofit organization for young Cuban-Americans quietly provided strategic support for the federal government’s secret “Cuban Twitter” program, connecting contractors with potential investors and even serving as paid consultants, The Associated Press has learned.

    April 22, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:

    April 22, 2014

  • Apple offering free recycling of all used products

    Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.

    April 21, 2014

  • UAW drops appeal of defeat in Volkswagen vote

    The United Auto Workers dropped its appeal of a worker vote against unionizing at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, a move that the union said should put pressure on Republican politicians to quickly approve incentives the German automaker is seeking to expand its lone U.S. assembly plant.

    April 21, 2014

  • In show of defiance, 32,000 run Boston Marathon

    Some ran to honor the dead and wounded. Others were out to prove something to the world about their sport, the city or their country. And some wanted to prove something to themselves.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 21, 2014