Daughter Hunts Down Dad's Suspected Killer When Cops Can't

Inspiring 8

Justo Santos
Justo Santos
Joselyn Martinez' father was murdered when she was just a kid. Fast forward 26 years, and the now grown up Martinez is getting slapped on the back by NYPD for tracking down the man suspected of shooting her dad in cold blood. And all it took was an Internet browser and $280.

It's a story that seems ripe for a TV movie, isn't it? Good thing Joselyn, named for her father Jose, is an actress.

An actress who studied political science at NYU and once dreamed of being a prosecutor, but still, she's "just" an actress who managed to do what the cops couldn't: snag a guy who has been on the run for 26 years, running from a murder charge.

Some are using this story to bash the police today.

If only it were that simple.

The cops did do their jobs here. Way back in November of 1986, they investigated the shooting of Jose Martinez at his restaurant and identified a then 16-year-old named Justo Santos as their suspect. Unfortunately, Santos fled for the Dominican Republic, and well, if you've read much about criminal justice in this country, you know that law enforcement is often overwhelmed with cases and understaffed. Just Google "rape kit backlog" if you really want to have your eyes opened.

This could be a story about what the police did wrong.

I tend to think it's more a story of what Joselyn Martinez did right.

She loved her dad, was daddy's little girl. She wanted justice for him. So she got online. She spent some money on background websites. She tracked down the man cops think shot her dad. Santos has been arrested in Florida, and he's expected to be sent back to New York soon.

Should we have to solve crimes for the cops? No, we shouldn't. 

But then, we shouldn't have 20-year-old men who walk into school buildings and murder innocent children or nannies killing their charges or 16-year-olds who shoot fathers at their restaurants.

We could all sit around and complain about our lot in life. Plenty of people do it on social media every day.

Or we could get off our butts and try to do something about it. That's what Joselyn Martinez did. She turned on her computer and got to work. And this actress, this civilian with none of the police tools, got her mission accomplished.

She got justice for her dad.

Hers is the story we need to tell today, the story of someone who didn't just sit around waiting for things to happen for her but someone who made them happen.

If only more Americans had the same drive, what amazing things we could do ...

What would you have done in Joselyn's place?


Image via police

crime, death


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Chana... Chanandler.Bong

Perhaps, if you don't want this to be about police bashing, you should rethink the title of this article.  Mentioning 'clueless cops' in the title sets us up to be against the police from the get go.

LostS... LostSoul88

Good for her! But police sometimes need to move onto other cases. espeically if they knew he fled the country, they can't sit back and watch every flight waiting for him to come back. There is other cases that come up every day and they need to tend to thsoe too. They can't just put cases on hold and wait till they solve one before they start on another. 

Dee Dee

This is about cops and how incopetent they are. They just want to do whats easy like lots of petty unimportant cases. They waste time and tax payers money on stupid bullshit instead of doing their job and solving real cases and stopping real crimes!!!


Clueless cops? Then you defend them? Confusing stance you have there...

Shannon Damiano Eddy

I think our justice system does what it can with what they are given. It's not the police fault that they are under staffed or are given so much time or lack there of on a case. I think that Americans these days look for what someone is going to do or give them instead of "taken the bull by the horns" an doing things for our selves. Yes we have a justice system but they can't do it alone. I know if I was in this situation I probably would have done the same as this young woman did. There are ways to go about things and I think she absolutely did a wonderful job in doing what was just for her father. Kudos to you young lady!! I'm sorry for your loss but happy that you can tell your dad that he can now rest in peace. Bless you!

Irish... Irishmommy27

I agree with a lot of the comments, it seems that this story is less about a daughter’s determination in finding her father’s killer and more about police bashing. If the man did flee the country then there really is not much they can do. They can’t just sit around and wait for him to come back but not only that; there is just a higher crime to law enforcement ratio; one person is usually working on more than one case at a time. This story should have been more about the daughter in my opinion. She did a great job! And now the family will have the closure they need.


i am trying to solve the murder of my mother. i know who did it, i know where he is, i just cant get the police to do anything about it

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