Cigarette butt leads to 2006 double slaying arrest

Published On: Jun 13 2013 09:59:44 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 10:17:47 AM EDT

Jose Martinez

MARION COUNTY, Fla. -

A 2006 double homicide case has been solved because of DNA evidence recovered from a cigarette butt, according to Marion County Sheriff's Office.

The cigarette butt was found in the inside of the victims' truck and deputies said the DNA profile revealed the identity of Jose Martinez, who was already in the system for crimes he committed in California.

Martinez, who authorities say is a drug cartel debt collector, was also wanted in Alabama for an unrelated homicide.

Detectives say Martinez confessed to killing two Volusia County construction workers in 2006- 20-year-old Javier Huerta and 28-year-old Gustavo Rivas. Deputies said Huerta was a drug dealer and Rivas was an innocent bystander.

Huerta and Rivas' bodies were found, bound with zip ties and gunshot wounds, off State Road 19 in the cab of the pick-up truck.

Martinez was in Arizona, but Alabama officials had him extradited back to Alabama, where he was questioned by a MCSO detective.

"He was very relaxed, he had a lot on his mind, had a lot of things he wanted to get off his chest, he stated that it was time for him to release everything he had inside, he had been killing since he was 16 years of age," said MCSO Det. T.J. Watts.

In the interview, Martinez gave a full confession to the murders saying he wanted to get it all off of his chest.

Deputies said he confessed to killing 11 people in California and says he killed up to 30 people.

MCSO has placed a hold on Martinez, pending the outcome of the first-degree murder charges in Alabama.

Deputies said the results from the cigarette took 6 years to come back because they had 300 pieces of evidence from the crime scene and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has limited resources so agencies are only allowed to send a certain number of items at a time to be tested.

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