Sheriff's office identifies woman and child found dead

Posted at 1:48 PM, Nov 05, 2017
and last updated 2019-04-02 11:37:04-04

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man in connection with the murder of a woman and her infant child at Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir in Hallsburg on Nov. 5.

The woman was identified as Valarie Martinez, 24, and her daughter Azariah Martinez. 

"She was a very nice, loving, caring person and she had no enemies ever," said Cassandra Slaby, a friend of Martinez.

Slaby said she's shed her share of tears since hearing the gut-wrenching news.

"I just don't understand how somebody could just murder a 1-year-old," said Slaby.

The sheriff's office was called out to the scene after receiving a 9-1-1 call from people who stumbled upon the incident. Deputies arrived around 1 p.m. to a disturbing sight.

"The little child was killed while still strapped in her car seat," said Sheriff Parnell McNamara with MCSO. "Just a very sad, very brutal, cold-blooded murder."

Sheriff McNamara said the scene brought him to tears.

"Very heartbreaking," said Sheriff McNamara. "Even though I'm a tough lawman, it's so hard to see something like that and you never get used to it."

"I'm hoping that justice is served and that they find out who murdered them," said Slaby. "There's no way people can forget Valarie or her adorable baby." 

A candlelight vigil is planned for Valarie and Azariah on Sunday, Nov. 12 at TP&L Park #3. Slaby is also collecting donations to cover the cost of the vigil.

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