Police arrest father of girl found dead with 4 others

Martin Martinez, 30, of Modesto, was detained in San Jose early Sunday and booked into a Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of murder.

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) – A man was arrested Sunday in the deaths of his daughter, two other girls and two women whose bodies were found in a California home, police said.

Modesto police spokeswoman Heather Graves said Martin Martinez, 30, of Modesto, was detained in San Jose early Sunday and booked into a Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of murder.

Martinez had a past relationship with one of the women and is the father of one of the girls found dead Saturday afternoon. All the victims are related, and the children’s ages range from 6 months to 6 years old, Graves said.

Police aren’t releasing information about a motive, cause of death or how long the three girls and two women had been dead when they were found, she said.

Investigators had named Martinez as a “person of interest” in the case Saturday and said he was last seen driving a red Lincoln Navigator.

San Jose police spokesman Albert Morales said officers found the vehicle abandoned in the southeastern part of San Jose. Morales said Martinez switched vehicles and drove off with a relative.

Police found the second vehicle in a parking lot after midnight and waited for Martinez to return, Morales said. He was arrested without incident.

Officers in Modesto, part of California’s Central Valley, discovered the bodies Saturday afternoon while responding to a request to check on the home, Graves said.

The house is in a tidy subdivision lined with four- and five-bedroom homes that were built seven or eight years ago, the Modesto Bee reported.

Nimala Kumar, who lives five houses down from where the bodies were found, said the street is quiet and she never knew of any problems at the home.

“It’s a very quiet street. We all pretty much keep to ourselves,” Kumar said. “For something like this to happen is unbelievable.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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