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Police: Murder likely botched burglary

March 29, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

The murder of an 85-year-old World War II veteran inside his El Centro home Sunday may have come during a burglary attempt, police suspect.

That information was revealed as homicide investigators continued their hunt for the killer of Martin Weiss, who was stabbed multiple times in his residence at 1230 Ross Ave. As of this morning no arrests had been made in the case.

Police officials said they suspect burglary because objects were moved around the house, but officers were unsure whether items were taken from the home.

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El Centro police Sgt. Theresa Quinn emphasized police only suspect a burglary was taking place. She said that answer will come for certain when an arrest is made.

Police were following other leads, among them the discovery of Weiss' wallet in west Calexico on Wednesday. The wallet was found by a man who had planned to return it to Weiss' home. When the man learned Weiss had been killed, he contacted El Centro police.

El Centro Lt. Tim Blankenship said Thursday police were going to send the wallet to the state Department of Justice to be processed for fingerprints and any other evidence that might lead investigators to the killer.

In addition, there were witnesses who reported they saw Weiss' pickup on Clark Road south of El Centro about noon Sunday.

One witness reported seeing a Hispanic male driving the pickup, which had a shredded right front tire.

A second witness reported a Hispanic male thought to be in his 20s was standing near Weiss' pickup where the vehicle was found. That witness said there was blood on the clothing of the man.

A third witness saw a male Hispanic near the pickup and saw a white pickup stop and the driver of that vehicle made contact with the Hispanic male.

There was no information on whether the suspect left the scene in the white pickup or on foot.

Police want to contact the driver of the white pickup, but have said that person is not considered a suspect in the case.

Weiss was killed in his residence sometime before 4 p.m. Sunday when he was found by a friend.

Weiss was last seen at church Sunday. Initially there were indications he was last seen between 11:30 a.m. and noon. Police are looking into whether that time is accurate.

El Centro police have asked anyone with information about the case to contact 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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