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Joselyn Martinez Helps Track Suspect in Dad's 1986 Killing in NYC

Image: Joselyn Martinez Helps Track Suspect in Dad's 1986 Killing in NYC

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 08:06 AM

A man living in Miami is being returned to New York in connection with a 1986 restaurant murder, thanks to the victim's daughter who took it upon herself to track down the suspect.

Actress Joselyn Martinez was nine-years-old when Justo Santos allegedly shot her father, Jose, in front of Martinez's family restaurant in New York City, according to WABC-TV. Martinez she said she spent the last eight years searching for the suspect after learning the police had actually closed the case.

There were two things Martinez had going for her now from what she didn't have when she was nine – college classes in pre-law school education and the Internet. In her college classes she learned there was no statute of limitation for murder. She used the internet as her blood hound, tracking down information on Santos.

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"I wanted to become a prosecutor in college," she told the New York Daily News. "But then I decided to do what I really wanted to. How could I prosecute other cases when my father’s was unsolved? Knowing the person my father was, I couldn’t live with myself if (Santos) stayed free."

Martinez said she began searching websites like Facebook and MySpace and later progressed to sites like Background.com and USA-Peoplesearch.com where she started to hit pay dirt.

"They all had it. They had his address. They had his phone number,” Martinez told the Daily News. “He must have thought it was all over, that he had gotten away with it.”

Martinez gathered up her information and brought it to Det. Robert Dewhurst of New York City's 34th Precinct cold case squad, who took up the chase from there.

“I can’t take all the credit. The 34th Precinct and the cold case squad did all the work,” Martinez told the newspaper.

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WABC reported that police arrested Santos Thursday in Miami and arrangements are underway for him to extradited back to New York to face murder charges.

"I applaud her," said New York police commissioner Ray Kelly. "It is admirable what she did. Obviously she made a concerted effort and it paid off, and we appreciate it."

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