Wallet of murder victim is discovered

March 28, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

Homicide investigators today were following leads in the killing of an 85-year-old El Centro man, including witness reports indicating a man was driving the victim's pickup with the right front tire shredded.

In addition, someone on Wednesday found the victim's wallet in Calexico and turned it over to El Centro police.

The wallet is going to be sent to the state Department of Justice to be processed for fingerprints and any other evidence that might be uncovered.

Martin Weiss was killed in his residence at 1230 Ross Ave. sometime before 4 p.m. Sunday, when he was found by a friend.


Weiss' pickup was found after the investigation into his murder started. It was discovered on Clark Road near Loop Road with its right front tire shredded.

A witness told authorities he was driving behind Weiss' pickup near Clark and McCabe roads. The witness told authorities it was strange to see the pickup driving with a shredded tire.

A second witness reported seeing the victim's pickup stopped on Clark near Loop and a Hispanic male with blood on his clothing near the pickup.

Another witness stated a white pickup was seen pulling up to the victim's pickup and either slowing or coming to a complete stop. That witness indicated a Hispanic male near the pickup made contact with the person in the white pickup.

There was no information on whether the man seen driving the victim's pickup left the scene in the white truck, said El Centro police Lt. Tim Blankenship.

Police did want to make contact with the driver of the white pickup, but that individual was not thought to be connected to the murder, Blankenship said.

The driver of the victim's pickup was described as a Hispanic man in his early 20s with a dark complexion.

While reports indicated the man had blood on his clothing, Blankenship declined to discuss the clothing beyond that because of the ongoing investigation.

Police contacted the U.S. Border Patrol in case the assailant tries to flee into Mexico.

Blankenship added, "We have pieces of information that if they all come together it may lead us to someone."

He said if the suspect has fled into Mexico, that does not mean he would escape arrest. U.S. authorities have liaison officers who work with Mexican authorities, which could aid in making an arrest if the suspect has fled across the border.

"If he has fled into Mexico, he is not unreachable," Blankenship said.

Weiss was last seen at church Sunday. Initially there were indications he was last seen between 11:30 a.m. and noon.

However, police are looking into whether that time is accurate. Reports from witnesses state they saw the pickup on Clark about noon.

Weiss was found by a friend whom he was supposed to have dinner with at 4 p.m.

County Coroner Investigator Deputy Gary Hayes said Weiss had been stabbed multiple times, one a fatal puncture wound close to his heart. Hayes said he did not have information on when the stabbing might have occurred.

Blankenship has said there was evidence a disturbance had occurred in the home. A rear door to the house could not be secured, but police were unsure whether that was a pre-existing condition or related to the crime scene.

On Wednesday a person found Weiss' wallet in west Calexico. Blankenship said that man did not realize there had been a murder and had planned to return the wallet to Weiss at his residence. However, when he learned from a friend Weiss had been murdered, he contacted El Centro police in the late afternoon Wednesday.

El Centro police have asked anyone with information about the case to contact Sgt. Theresa Quinn at 336-8985 and Detective Angie Cuevas at 336-8996.

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

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