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Old 07-11-2011, 12:52 PM
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Default Bloody fingerprints link suspect to body in bushes

PERRIS: Bloody fingerprints link suspect to body in bushes
A 47-year-old man whose half-naked body was found last month hidden among landscaping on a downtown-Perris median was beaten with a rock and strangled, according to court documents.
Investigators linked 42-year-old Jorge Alejandro Martinez, of Homeland, to the crime scene through bloody fingerprints left on a Styrofoam cup, according to an investigator's search warrant affidavit.
Martinez was charged Thursday with murder but has not yet entered a plea. His bail is set at $1 million.
Riverside County sheriff's officials said Sergio Santos Corona was beaten in the head and face. A sock and shoelaces tied around his neck had been used to strangle him. A tree branch was jammed in his mouth and a pair of basketball shorts was draped over his mid-section. It appears someone tried to set Corona on fire after he died, said homicide Sgt. Mike Lujan. There were burns on his upper left side.
Lujan said Corona's last known address was in Murrieta but he had been living in Perris.
He and Martinez were often seen downtown together. It's unclear why Martinez might have wanted to kill Corona, the sergeant added.
"We're still exploring the motive," Lujan said.
Corona was found June 20, a Monday, but he appeared to have been dead for hours, sheriff's officials said. A work crew found his body, which was obscured by tall plants and bushes, on a street median near 2nd and D streets.
Witnesses told homicide investigators they had seen Corona and a man matching Martinez's description together the Saturday night before Corona was found dead, the search warrant affidavit states.
The witnesses said the men appeared to be friends and both were extremely drunk.
Perris-area deputies investigating another crime located Martinez over the Fourth of July weekend and arrested him.
A man who was with Martinez the day of his arrest told investigators they had discussed Corona's death, court records state.
Martinez told him he was angry that his friend had been killed and mentioned Corona had purchased some shoes for him, the man told investigators.
A search of Martinez's home uncovered a pair of shoes with what appeared to be blood on them in a shoebox, court records say.
Investigators said the last record of law enforcement contact with Martinez had been in 1999 when he was arrested for public intoxication and was later deported, court records state.
Family members told investigators Martinez suffers from mental problems due to injuries his mother received when she was pregnant with him.
"They said that Jorge was quiet and peaceful but loved to drink," Investigator Ricardo Espinoza wrote in the search warrant affidavit. "They said he would not look for problems but if confronted, he would snap and become very violent."
Martinez's family could not be reached for comment.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/...1.3abc6b9.html
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