Five people including a doctor, whose mother lives in Fallon, were found dead on Saturday in Modesto, Calif., after a friend notified the police department her friend did not show up for a luncheon.
When officers responded to the 2600 block of Nob Hill Court, Police Chief Galen Carroll said in a Monday afternoon press conference they found two adults and three children inside the home. Modesto police have identified the two adults as Dr. Amanda Crews, 38, and Anna Brown Romero, 57, the mother of the suspect. Martin Martinez.
The Modesto Bee newspaper reported on Sunday that according to Crews’ mother, Paulette Beidleman, she spoke with her daughter on Thursday but did not detect anything wrong.
“It’s shocking,” she told the Bee about the deaths. “I’m still in shock.”
A vigil for the victims was held Monday night in Modesto.
“At 3:36 p.m. officers received a call,” Carroll said. “When they arrived and made entry in the house, they found five occupants who had been killed ”
Once detectives arrived and began their investigation, Carroll said identified Martinez, 30, as a person of interest.
Martinez is the father of a 6-month-old girl who was also found at the murder scene. Carroll said Martinez is a suspect in the slayings. He is being held without bail in the Santa Clara County Jail Complex.
He was arrested early Sunday by San Jose police after watching a movie with his father.
Carroll said Martinez and Crews had a prior relationship and were the biological parents of the infant. The Bee identified the name of the girl as Rachael and a 6-year-old child, Elizabeth, who Crews had with another father. The third child was the suspect’s 5-year-old niece.
“We have not established a motive at this time,” Carroll said.
Carroll said Martinez was under investigation in another homicide case that occurred in October 2014. At the time, Carroll said Child Protective Services contacted detectives regarding 2-year-old Christopher Ripley, who was admitted to a hospital outside Modesto. The police chief said detectives established Martinez lived in the home with Crews and the toddler.
According to the Bee, the boy was Crews’ son from her marriage to Timothy Ripley, which ended in divorce in October.
Modesto police said the boy died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
Due to the complexity of the case involving a child, Carroll said the opinion of a forensic specialist examining the evidence was required. On Thursday Carroll said the specialist verbally notified the police department of her findings from the 2014 case. Because police suspect Martinez is involved in the five murders and due to the concern for public safety, Carroll said detectives sought an immediate arrest warrant for Martinez because of the results from the boy’s death.