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3 children, 2 adults slain in Calif. home

Posted at 3:56 PM, Jul 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-19 22:46:53-04

MODESTO, Calif. — A 30-year-old suspect has been arrested after police found two women and three girls, including an infant, dead in a California home.

Martin Martinez is accused of killing a woman he once had a relationship with, his own daughter and three other people, Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves said Sunday.

Authorities aren’t yet releasing a motive or detailing the victims’ cause of death, she said, but they’ve determined that all five of the victims were family members.

The three slain children ranged in age from 6 months to 6 years, Graves said.

“It’s devastating, not only to the families of the victims and to the neighbors here as well, (but also) to our law enforcement community,” she said, noting that a chaplain has been at the scene of the killings providing counseling.

Investigators discovered the victims’ bodies Saturday afternoon after someone called and asked them to check on the home, Graves said. Hours later, they named Martinez as a “person of interest” in their homicide investigation, posting his photo on social media and asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call 911.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, police in San Jose, California, arrested Martinez in a shopping mall parking lot.

“He’s been booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of murder,” Graves said. He is being held without bail, according to jail records. It was not immediately clear whether he had legal representation.

Investigators are still searching for witnesses to build their case, Graves said.