A man arrested in Miami last Thursday who confessed to the killing of a New York restaurant owner 26 years ago was caught thanks to the persistence of a daughter who never forgot the man’s name.
Justo Santos was just 16 years old when he shot New York restaurant owner Jose Martinez in the chest in front of his eatery in 1986, according to CNN. He fled the country for the Dominican Republic and was subsequently imprisoned for a year on an unrelated crime. It was during that time the NYPD improperly closed the case on Martinez’s killing.
Joselyn Martinez was just 9 years old when her father was shot and killed, and her family told her to never forget the killer’s name. She didn’t, and about a year ago Martinez began searching online for Santos, starting with background checks and moving on to social networks.
Then in November 2012, she found her father’s cold case file in the NYPD’s 34th precinct archives. Martinez worked furiously for three months before approaching police again with evidence she’d collected online, paying less than $300 to track the man down. Armed with this new information, police acted swiftly and alerted officers in Miami that a fugitive was in their midst.
Santos was arrested last Thursday by police in Miami-Dade County. He’s reportedly confessed to the killing and will be brought to New York later this week to face charges. “She’s the person most responsible for finding her father’s killer,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told CNN. “She did outstanding work.”
This video is from CNN, aired Wednesday, June 12, 2103.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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