Police: Suspect pool still wide open

Officers continue to investigate George Martin's death, focus on his family and friends
Courtney Astolfi
Mar 8, 2014
Sandusky police continue to whittle down the list of suspects in the Dec. 3 murder of George Martin.

“It’s a big whodunnit, mainly because th ere’s no clear-cut motive established to point us in the right direction,” Sandusky police Detective Gary Wichman said Friday. “W hich leaves the pool wide open still”

Martin, 86, was stabbed to death inside his Campbell Street home. His attack ers set the place on fire before fleeing, destroying much of the evidence.

Click HERE for more stories about the Murder, Arson on Campbell Street

While it’s now been three months since the murder, detectives continue to follow leads.    They’ve compiled lists of suspects, reviewed hours of video surveillance footage and submitted scores of samples to a state crime lab for forensic testing.

Detectives said they’ve ruled out many of the initial suspects, but the list remains long. At times, it continues to grow, Wichman said.

Police have zeroed in on Martin’s circle of acquaintances, relatives and neighbors.

On Wednesday, officers served a search warrant on the hotel room where Florence Martin, George’s widow, is staying. They confiscated her computer and also impounded her car to search for evidence.

But that’s not to say Florence was involved, Wichman said.

“That’s the only means of communication we haven’t looked into yet,” Wichman said. “The whole premise of (executing the warrant) is to eliminate her as a suspect”

Wichman also said a promising lead surfaced in recent days, but he declined to elaborate. He said officials seized evidence and sent it to a crime lab for analysis.

As for the large batch of evidence sent to the crime lab earlier this year, Wichman said investigators are nearing completion on those results. None of the items sent in for testing thus far are suspected murder weapons.

Surveillance footage recorded by cameras on buildings near Martin’s home showed two shadowy figures approaching the home about 45 minutes before Martin’s body was discovered. The two people were then seen leaving the area in a hurry, with neighbors dialing 911 moments later to report a fire at the home.

The two figures caught on video are prime suspects, police have said.

Wichman has also enlisted the help of Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office to analyze the timeline of the fire’s spread.

“I’m fairly confident the fire wasn’t burning that long,” Wichman said.

The amount of time the two suspects spent inside Martin’s home that night indicates Martin was familiar with them, Wichman said.

A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest. The tips Sandusky police have already received have produced no solid leads, Wichman said.

“That’s highly unusual,” he said. “It just tells us it’s more within a tight circle, possibly. Usually people brag on the street”

Anyone with information can call Sandusky police at 419-627-5877.

Comments

usmc21

Take a look at his will and see who would of benefited from his death.

feedthetrolls

cause i'm sure no one has thought of that in the last 3 months

Good 2 B Me

That is so weird. I remember SPD saying how close they were to arresting the suspects.

I also remember several of us asking to see the video of the suspects so that maybe the public could help.

Julie R.

I agree that this is weird. If they have a video of suspects leaving the area a short time after the fire started, how can they NOT know who did it? Also, what reason, if any, have they given for not making the video public? Also, how old is his widow? Is she in her mid-80's, too? If so, it's highly doubtful that she could have committed such a horrific act, so why would they confiscate her computer and impound her car?

Once again, this is weird.

Babo

Purely speculating: Murder for hire. Explains why no one is talking, the destruction of evidence and why the wife's computer and car were confiscated.

deertracker

I think investigators are just leaving no stone unturned. The video must not be as helpful as most might think. CCTV is not always of great picture quality plus it was dark. Never assume what anyone of any age might do or NOT do!

AEversole

Obviously the video is useless for identifying two shadowy figures. It let's you know there are two suspects and helps build a timeline, but that's about it.. I said a week into this that by the way the police were acting , that they didn't have any real leads or suspects.. It is going to take the public to point them in the right direction. If they are waiting for one of these killers to run off at the mouth, this case is over. It isn't a burglery or theft that someone is going to brag about. They murdered a old man and set him on fire, I doubt that someone brags about that to boost their street cred. Get a clue

Ralph J.

How about using some furtherance of justice funds and offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the killers? Money talks. I see a $10,000 reward but what is the source? Make it $20,000 total.