Woman helps catch her father's suspected killer

June 11, 2013 2:26:36 PM PDT
A young woman who never gave up finding her father's killer has helped police catch the suspect.

She says it just took an internet background check website and $280.

"I'm still in shock and I still don't believe that it happened," said Joselyn Martinez, the victim's daughter.

But Joselyn Martinez does admit there's a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that her father's alleged killer is finally behind bars and she played a big role in putting him there.

"It's what I had to do for my father. I couldn't let it go," Martinez said.

Joselyn was only 9 years old back in 1986 when her father Jose was shot to death in front of the family's Dyckman Street restaurant in Inwood.

Police back then identified the shooter as 16-year-old Justo Santos, but he was never caught and reportedly fled the country.

But he couldn't run from Joselyn. The now 36-year-old spent the last eight years searching internet sites like backgroundchecks.com and USA People Search, before finally realizing she'd found her man.

"I clicked on my computer, I realized I had that person, right there, number one on the report," Martinez said.

Joselyn gave the information she'd been compiling to detectives at the 34th precinct, who'd already reopened the case at her insistence.

Last Thursday, Justo Santos was arrested in Miami and appeared in court Tuesday.

He'll be extradited back to New York to face murder charges.

Even the NYPD gives the very determined daughter credit for cracking this case.

"I applaud her, it is admirable what she did, obviously she made a concerted effort and it paid off, and we appreciate it," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Joselyn believes Santos' arrest will allow her father, and her family, to finally rest in peace.

"We know it's not going to bring the person back, but this is for my dad," Martinez said.