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Detectives zeroing in on suspects

Courtney Astolfi • Dec 8, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Sandusky police are on the verge of arresting suspects in Tuesday’s grisly murder of 86-year-old George Martin, but they need the public’s help.


Investigators are eyeing two suspects in the killing.


In reviewing video surveillance footage recorded by security cameras at buildings near Martin’s Campbell Street home — where his body was found in the basement Tuesday night following a house fire — investigators spotted two people entering and leaving the area around the time he was murdered, Sandusky police Detective Dana Newell said. 


“We’ve got two subjects going to the residence at approximately 7:45 p.m., and we’ve got two subjects leaving there in a hurry at approximately 8:28 p.m.,” Newell said.


While Newell didn’t say if the suspects were men or women, he said both were clad in jeans, tennis shoes and dark jackets.


The video footage shows the pair walking east on Grant Street as they approach Martin’s home, Newell said. They’re seen leaving the scene after about 45 minutes, headed west, toward the direction they came from.


They walked along the edge of the road, but did not venture into the grass, Newell said. Their path took them behind the shopping plaza neighboring Sandusky High School, near the tennis courts.


“There was moderate vehicle traffic at that time,” Newell said. “There were numerous cars going by in the area of Sherman and Grant (streets).


“We know somebody observed these people walking, even though they wouldn’t have known what was going on at the time,” he said. “I need the public to contact us and describe them.”


As soon as any drivers who were passing through that area are able to identify or describe the two suspects, police will have enough information to arrest them, Newell said.  


Firefighters were dispatched to Martin’s home at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, after neighbors called 911 to report a fire at the home. After firefighters tamed the blaze, they discovered Martin’s body on the basement floor. 


But it was not the fire that killed him. He was stabbed multiple times, Newell said.


Police believe Martin’s attackers set the fire to cover their crime. Investigators have not discussed a possible motive, but they did say Martin may have known his killers. 


Anyone who may have seen people walking in the area around that time should immediately call Sandusky police at 419-627-5877.


Neighbors are holding a candlelight vigil tonight in Martin’s memory.

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