Martin Martinez, the man accused of killing his lover, their 6-month-old daughter and three others over the weekend, was also linked to the death of the woman’s 2-year-old son last year.
Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll said at a news conference Monday that a pathologist determined last week that 2-year-old Christopher Ripley died of blunt force trauma on Oct. 2, two days after the toddler was taken to the hospital for treatment, theAssociated Press reports.
Christopher was the son of Dr. Amanda Crews, who was found dead on Saturday inside a Modesto, California, home, along with her two daughters, 6-year-old Elizabeth and 6-month-old Rachel, and two others.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Martinez, 30, in connection to the death of the toddler just hours after the five bodies were discovered. According to the warrant, the “method of death was consistent with Christopher’s head hitting the tile floor as a result of abuse.”
Authorities arrested Martinez in San Jose on early Sunday. He is being held without bail in Santa Clara County.
Carroll shot down accusations that the Modesto Police dropped the ball by taking so long to issue a warrant in Christopher’s death. There has been speculation that the five other deaths could have been averted had police acted sooner.
“Homicides do take a great deal of time to investigate,” Carroll said, adding that they were waiting for the pathologist’s written report. Police consulted with an outside pathologist who specializes in neurology for the case.
The daycare that Christopher had attended had reported three suspicious injuries. But the boy’s mother denied that Martinez had anything to do with them.
Nevertheless, Carroll said Monday that the Stanislaus County Child Protective Services had ordered Martinez to stay away from Crews’ children. Police do not believe that order was a factor in Saturday’s murders. Carroll declined to comment on a possible motive.
Martinez is scheduled to be extradited from Santa Clara County later this week.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.