San Jose police arrest suspect in Modesto murders




SAN JOSE (KRON) — A man was arrested in San Jose for the deaths of five people, including his daughter, whose bodies were found Saturday afternoon in a suburban Modesto home.

Martin Martinez, 30, of Modesto was taken into custody at about 1 a.m. as he was walking through a mall parking lot off Blossom Hill Road in San Jose, according to police. He has been booked into a Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of murder.

And on Monday afternoon, police said they believe Martinez also killed another child in 2014. KRON 4’s Dan Kerman reported Monday Martinez was not arrested for Saturday’s murders. It was for killing a 2-year-old boy in 2014. The boy was the son of of Martinez’s former girlfriend.

Police said it took them nine months for a forensic expert to determine the boy’s death was not an accident, but a homicide. They got that verbal word on Thursday of last week, but police did not get an arrest warrant for Martinez. Instead, they waited until Saturday after the five people were murdered at the Modesto residence.

The search for Martinez started Saturday afternoon after police officers found five dead bodies in a house located on the 2600 block of Nob Hill Court in Modesto yesterday at 3:30 p.m in the afternoon. The victims were all female, according to officials.

Three of those victims, whose identities have not yet been released, were children between 6 months to 6 years old. The other two victims were adults.

The two adult victims were identified as the suspect’s 57-year-old mother, Anna Brown Romero, and Amanda Crews, a physician and the suspect’s ex-girlfriend. The infant was identified as the child of Crews and the suspect.

Martinez is the biological father of one of the children and all the victims are related, Modesto police spokeswoman Heather Graves said.

Modesto police contacted the San Jose Police Department Saturday to report that Martinez was en route to San Jose driving a Lincoln SUV. Officers located the vehicle, unoccupied, in the 2400 block of Lucerne Way around 10 p.m., according to police.

A subsequent investigation led them to believe that Martinez was traveling in a different vehicle. That vehicle was found parked in a mall parking lot in the vicinity of Blossom Hill Road and Santa Teresa Boulevard at 12:47 a.m.

Around 1 a.m. Martinez was arrested as he was walking back to the parking lot, according to police.

Martinez was transported back to the San Jose Police Department and Modesto PD detectives were notified.

And on Tuesday, KRON 4 obtained divorce documents that indicated

The Modesto crime scene is in the final stages of being processed.

But police were not the only ones to suspect Martinez was a murderer in the death of the 2-year-old boy. Amanda Crews’ ex-husband Timothy Ripley, who was the father of the boy, also suspected Martinez.

In divorce documents obtained by KRON 4, Crews complained about a conversation her soon-to-be ex-husband had with her daughter Elizabeth, who family members said was also killed in Saturday’s shooting.

“(Ripley) has told Elizabeth that my boyfriend killed Christopher and also told her that my boyfriend will be going to prison for the rest of his life,” the documents said.

Detectives are asking the public to call Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-561-4636 if anyone witnessed a red Lincoln Navigator that was traveling to San Jose last night.

Stay with KRON 4 for more updates on this incident.

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