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No arrests or motives found yet in Martin’s death, fire

Courtney Astolfi • Dec 19, 2013 at 8:20 AM

No arrests have been made in the case, no motive has yet been determined and Sandusky police investigators are awaiting forensic test results they hope will lead them to Martin’s killers.

Firefighters were called to Martin’s burning home at 2201 Campbell St. at about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3. While subduing the blaze, they found Martin’s body in his basement, riddled with stab wounds, police said.

Surveillance footage from a nearby building showed two people — each dressed in jeans and a dark jacket — approaching Martin’s home on foot at 7:45 p.m., then leaving in a hurry just a minute or two before neighbors reported the fire.

The pair are prime suspects in Martin’s murder, but police have yet to learn their names, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said Wednesday.

Click HERE for past stories about the murder, arson

In the two weeks since Martin was killed, police have explored a plethora of leads.

First and foremost, detectives submitted possible DNA samples to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for review. Forensic analysis can oftentimes take many weeks, but Orzech said the Martin case is already moving through the works.

“We’re going to have some sense of potential evidence from them by the end of the month” Orzech said.

While DNA results are likely going to be crucial to this investigation, they’re not the only avenue detectives have taken.

“We’re not hanging our hat on (the results), but at this point, it looks like some of the stuff we recover is going to be key to helping us find out who was there,” Orzech said.

Detectives have been poring over surveillance tapes from dozens of nearby cameras to try to determine where the suspects went after leaving Martin’s home. “There are some holes in different locations, so we’re trying to put the puzzle together” Orzech said.

This week, investigators have conducted extensive interviews with people who regularly interacted with Martin.

“We’ve done upwards of a dozen interviews with family, friends and acquaintances to try to get an understanding of the dynamics of George’s life” Orzech said. In short, police are digging for possible motives.

“The motive is not clear to us at this point” Orzech said. “Once you establish a motive, it directs the investigation into a specific area”

Everyone whom police have spoken with has shared similar comments about Martin.

“There’s no red flags. They say he’s a nice guy, a great guy, how he’d help out them or their kids” Orzech said.

Martin’s generosity could have made him a target, but investigators don’t currently believe anything was missing from the home.

“Robberies are always a substantial motive, but we haven’t been able to determine anything that was missing,” Orzech said. “Any type of valuables that would’ve been normal picks for somebody were all present inside the house”

Martin’s cash, electronics, jewelry and medications were all accounted for, Orzech said.

“We don’t know why something like this would happen to somebody who’s 86 years old” Orzech said.

Police did withhold some new developments from the public, as the crime is still under investigation. But Orzech is hopeful those leads are taking investigators in the right direction.

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