Family 'crushed' by murder victim's death

Grandson sends message to killer; police follow leads
Courtney Astolfi
Dec 6, 2013

Paul Doughty, grandson of 86-year-old murder victim George Martin, wants to send a message to his grandfather’s killer.

“I want to see them face-to-face,” he said. “I want to tell them I was the one who was supposed to be there, holding his hand when he died. I didn’t want him to be alone, bleeding to death by himself on the basement floor.”

Tuesday evening, Martin was repeatedly stabbed inside his home at 2201 Campbell St. in Sandusky.

His attacker, or attackers, then set the home on fire in an attempt to cover the crime, Sandusky police Detective Dana Newell said.

After firefighters snuffed the flames, they found Martin’s body in the basement.

“The whole family is just crushed,” Doughty told the Register Thursday evening. “The horror of what happened just keeps going through my head.”

Sandusky police have made no arrests in the case, but they have interviewed multiple “people of interest” in the days following Martin’s murder.

New details in the case were also made public Thursday:

•Investigators uncovered a possible murder weapon inside Martin’s home. Newell said Martin was stabbed with “a sharp object,” but he would not elaborate on the specific type of weapon used.

“We have located some things we’ll send into BCI to determine which one is the actual murder weapon,” Newell said.

•While Newell would not comment on how many people were involved in the murder, Doughty offered some insight. “These two people that did it are still in town,” Doughty said.

•It appears Martin tried to ward off his assailant. “There were signs he attempted to defend himself,” Newell said.

•The official autopsy has yet to be completed, but detectives conferred with the Lucas County coroner’s office Thursday about preliminary findings, which clued them to possible developments, Newell said.

•Fire and police investigators believe the fire was set without the use of gasoline or other accelerants. “It could be a match or lighter,” Newell said. “That’s still up in the air.”

•Detectives retrieved surveillance video of the area surrounding Martin’s home. “There is some surveillance. We’re trying to get all of it from certain locations and we’re still reviewing all of that,” Newell said.

•Members of the public have called police with additional, valuable information. “We appreciate the information we’ve received and ask the public to continue making contact with us,” Newell said.

•Neighbors saw nothing suspicious around Martin’s home near the time of his death, but police have interviewed possible witnesses. Newell did not provide information on the witnesses or what they saw.

•Newell did not comment on the whereabouts of Martin’s wife, Florence, when the crimes occurred, although on Wednesday he said she is not a suspect. He also had no comment on a possible timeline of the night’s events. He did, however, confirm the fire was set to cover Martin’s murder, and both events happened within a short timespan.

“We want to make sure we get everything right and ask people to be patient,” Newell said. “It’s a gruesome situation, and we do understand the concerns of citizens.”

Firefighters were dispatched to the home at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. They quickly extinguished the blaze, then found Martin’s body on the basement floor, partially burned with multiple stab wounds.

There were three separate points of origin in the fire — one point in the basement, one in a first-floor back bedroom, and one in a first-floor front bedroom, Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci said.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information about the arson.

Meanwhile, Martin’s family is reeling from this horrific end.

According to Doughty, Florence Martin is simply devastated by her husband’s death.

“She lost everything: her husband, her house, her dog,” Doughty said.

He said his grandfather raised him like a son.

“He was my father,” Doughty said. “He was just selfless and he put other people before himself. He always took the backseat to others, was humble, wasn’t focused on the material things, and was always about family. And he always taught me all of that.

“This wasn’t just an old man,” he said. “He was deeply, deeply loved.”

Comments

transplant

This is horrible. I hope they catch these creeps.

Unassumer

Those that harm children and the elderly have a special place in hell.

thinkagain

No there isn’t. They’ll be in the exact same place all unsaved sinners go.

The Answer Person

Spare us your syrupy and pompous self-righteous pseudo-religious lip.

JMOP

@Thinkagain I agree

lor70

This brought tears to my eyes!! To the family, please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers! To the people who did this, I hope you are caught and that justice is served!! RIP Mr. Martin!!

Coram Deo

Such evil and depravity. Praying that justice will be done. Praying for the Martin family. Deb know that you have your Huron classmates of 1971 praying for you.

sandtown born a...

How terrible, my thoughts are with the family.

Louie

This is so sad our society has become so violent that people will do anything to anyone for money drugs ect.This kind of behavior will continue because their are more criminals than police these days.

KURTje

Agree with unnassumer, "ye brood of vipers the deepest part of Hell is reserved for you."

bondgirlM

He looks like just the sweetest old gentleman. It breaks my heart that people do this to other people. The part that gets me is to know he tried to fend off the attackers..what he had to go through, no one should. I would love to sit in on some of these jury trials!

timary

I send my sincere sympathy to the family of Mr. Martin. Tragic and so senseless. I really wish that those who are responsible could be punished with the same violent acts that they dealt out to this husband, father, and grandfather. An eye for an eye.

he said she said

I am keeping this family in my thoughts. It's bad enough to lose one to age or illness but to lose one like this....I can't even wrap my mind around it...

Simple Enough II

How did they get in the house? Did he know his murderers? What was the motive, was he known to have large sums of money? Say it happen sometime between 1930-2025 that isn't all that late at night? A lot of questions. I hope those involved are captured swiftly.

dorothy gale

So very sick and sad.

SanduskySlayer's picture
SanduskySlayer

I am guessing that it is probably a couple of racist violent minorities.