California | Crime | News | San Jose

Family Wants Answers in Hit-and-Run Dragging Death of Lesbian


A family in San Jose wants answers following the death of 20-year-old lesbian Leticia Martinez, who was struck by a car before being dragged two blocks and left in the middle of the street, to die just hours later in the hospital.

UPDATE: Police searching for ex-girlfriend - see second video, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Mercury News reports:

"Police released few details and said they were investigating the case as a 'suspicious death.' But Rhoda Martinez of Alviso said the victim was her daughter, Norma Leticia Martinez, who goes by Leticia. 'She was badly beaten,' she said. No arrests had been made by late Monday. Friends and the victim's mother said Leticia Martinez was a lesbian, and they suspect she may have been attacked by a man who threatened her in the past because of her sexuality.' She was a good girl; she worked hard,' her mother said. San Jose police officer Jermaine Thomas, spokesman for the department, said 'nothing shows this case is related to hate.' Residents of Michigan Street said they heard nothing in the early morning hours of Monday. Small groups gathered on street corners throughout the afternoon, and it was hard for them to stop talking about the young woman they called quiet and unassuming."

Watch ABC7's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. How awful. Every time I read a story such as this I try to imagine how any one could do such a thing to another living being human or animal. It takes a cold, sadistic heart to do something such as this. My thoughts are for Martinez's family in this horrible time for them.

    Posted by: CJ | Dec 29, 2009 12:36:28 PM

  2. What angers me the most is that I'll bet that whomever was responsible feels like a really strong, hetero man after murdering a helpless, unassuming young girl.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Dec 29, 2009 12:41:31 PM

  3. There is more news as of 8:21 this morning: San Jose police were investigating the death of 20 year old Leticia Martinez Monday, after she was found badly injured in the middle of the road in Alviso and later died from internal injuries.

    Police said their search was centered on finding Martinez's girlfriend.

    Martinez's brother, Iven Perez said Martinez got into an argument with the woman Monday morning.

    "The argument started here in the front of the house it went from here to the corner," said Perez.

    Perez said the family landlord witnessed a fight between Martinez and her ex- girlfriend at about 6 a.m.

    "He saw her on top of the car and the car was going," said Perez. "The officer said there's a skid pattern so I'm assuming she was on the car then hit the brakes and she flew off the car and got ran over."

    Martinez' body was found in the middle of Michigan Avenue, near the Star of the Sea church, just three tenths of a mile from her home.

    She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

    "They were always saying they were going to find her dead at the church and that's exactly where they found her," said Esther Martinez, Leticia's aunt.

    Members of the Martinez family said Leticia's death was a hate crime linked to her sexual orientation.

    But police said there was no evidence to support that theory and were working to discern truth from neighborhood speculation.

    Officers from San Jose and Sunnyvale surrounded an apartment on Ayala Drive on Monday night, hoping to find the woman who allegedly fought with Martinez. According to her landlord, the woman had moved out the week before.

    Martinez recently graduated from Wilcox High School and had just started working in Saratoga.

    Posted by: The OS2Guy | Dec 29, 2009 12:41:34 PM

  4. God I am so sick of reading these stories as "gay news" The last 3 stories of violence has nothing to do with the persons sexuality and everything to do with their lifestyle. Maybe if these people weren't in bar brawls or having a lovers dispute at 6am they wouldnt find themselves in situations like these. NEXTTT!!

    Posted by: J. Bocca | Dec 29, 2009 2:22:53 PM

  5. Heartbreaking.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 29, 2009 2:25:46 PM

  6. Another hate crime. This is the third brutal murder of a gay person reported on this website in the past two days. Two of them were beaten and one was stabbed which are very common in anti-gay hate crimes.

    J.Bocca, STFU!!!!! Get off this site hatero!

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 29, 2009 3:29:50 PM

  7. whatever her story; whatever her sexuality my prayers go out to her and her family!

    Posted by: Coffee & chicory | Dec 30, 2009 2:17:17 AM

  8. In response to the comment posted on here by J. Bocca: How dare you in any way say this is Letty's fault! You did not know her, or anything about her lifestyle. I DID know her, and I, unlike you, are deeply hurt by her death. How dare you try to say her death is not just as important as anyone else's. How can you say "NEXT!" when there are countless people hurting because of this death and waiting for answers about how and why she died? Shame on you J. I hope God helps you to understand there are others out there that care. I pray he gives you wisdom to see other people's point of view... Next time you make a heartless comment about the death of someone, think twice because someone that loved them or knew them could see your comment and feel the pain caused by your hurtful and emotionless words... Thank you to everyone else that has shown compassion.

    Posted by: Megan | Dec 31, 2009 2:02:18 AM

  9. They were always saying they were going to find her dead at the church and that's exactly where they found her. The last 3 stories of violence has nothing to do with the persons sexuality and everything to do with their lifestyle.

    Posted by: automotive tools | Sep 9, 2010 1:45:38 AM

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