Police charge man over 1999 murder of Bronx girl, 13, whose body was found bound, strangled and stuffed into a dumpster after DNA evidence links him to the cold case
- Joseph Martinez has been charged over the killing of Minerliz Soriano in 1999
- She disappeared on her way home from school and no arrests were ever made
- DNA evidence has linked Martinez, who lived in the same building, to the crime
A man has been arrested over the murder of a 13-year-old girl whose strangled body was found by a homeless man in a dumpster in New York in 1999.
Joseph Martinez, 49, was charged Monday with two counts of second degree murder in the killing of Minerliz Soriano, known as Minnie, after DNA evidence linked him to the 22-year-old case
The teenager, who would now be aged 35 was walking home from school on Wallace Avenue at 2.20pm on February 24, 1999, when she disappeared.
Joseph Martinez, 49, was charged with two counts of second degree murder in the killing of Minerliz Soriano, known as Minnie (pictured)
The New Rochelle resident was led out of the 49th Precinct police station Monday and was seen visibly limping as he ignored questions (pictured)
Her family searched the area but her body was eventually found four days later by a homeless man in a dumpster near a Hollywood Video store.
Investigators concluded she had been strangled before her body was dumped.
The killing remained a cold case and no arrests were ever made.
But cops have now used DNA to link Martinez, who lived in the same building as her family, to the case, sources said.
The New Rochelle resident was led out of the 49th Precinct police station Monday and was seen visibly limping as he ignored questions.
A police source told the New York Post: ‘DNA became integral and led to the identification of a witness. Now he faces two counts of murder.’
In 2019, Minnie’s family appealed for a DNA breakthrough on the 20th anniversary of her disappearance.
The teenager, who would now be aged 35 was walking home from school on Wallace Avenue at 2.20pm on February 24, 1999, when she disappeared
One family member said: ‘She didn’t do anything to nobody, she didn’t have enemies.’
Minnie’s father Luis Soriano-Duran, who now lives in Texas, said Monday: ‘I feel some kind of happiness, but it’s still sad because justice was too late.
He said he did not recognize Martinez but appears not to have forgiven him for the alleged crime.
He said: ‘I wish him to go to hell.
‘Everywhere we go, we see a little kid, I remember her. When somebody smiles like she did, it makes me remember her. She always was in our heart and in our mind.
‘I hope that justice will do its work. This time, do it on time, and right.’
Martinez is expected in court today.
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