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El Centro man, 85, found slain in home

March 25, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

An 85-year-old man and longtime El Centro resident was murdered in his home Sunday and police were following leads in the case today, according to El Centro police Lt. Tim Blankenship.

The man, Martin Weiss, was found in his residence at 1230 Ross Ave., a quiet neighborhood, around 4 p.m. by a friend. Weiss' pickup was stolen and there were signs of a disturbance in his home.

Blankenship said this morning investigators had yet to determine the specific cause of Weiss' death. Blankenship added the cause of death will have to be determined during an autopsy Tuesday.

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One thing police are sure of is they are dealing with a murder.

"We believe this is a homicide," Blankenship said, adding that determination is based on the suspicious nature of Weiss' injuries, the stolen pickup and the condition of his residence.

According to police, Weiss had last been seen at his church between 11:30 a.m. and noon Sunday.

He had a dinner appointment with a friend set for 4 p.m. It was at 4 p.m. that the friend found Weiss's body. Blankenship said it was difficult to say how long Weiss had been dead.

Inside the residence there was "evidence of some disturbance," Blankenship said. He added a rear door would not close properly, and police are unsure whether that was a result of a crime or a pre-existing condition.

Weiss' truck was found by investigators later in the day. The vehicle was found on Clark Road south of Loop Road, not far from the county Sheriff's Office.

The right front tire was blown and shredded. The suspect had apparently fled on foot from the vehicle.

There was no suspect information as of this morning, Blankenship said, although he added police are following leads provided by family and friends.

The state Department of Justice was called to process the home for evidence that might aid in the investigation.

Blankenship asked that anyone with information on the case contact Sgt. Theresa Quinn at 336-8985 or Detective Angie Cuevas at 336-8996.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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