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Family of Española carjacking victim speaks out

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a week since a New Mexico woman says her father was killed in a carjacking gone wrong. Now, she’s asking the public to help her get justice for her dad.

“He was a man who had a heart of gold and he always made sure people were okay around him,” says Destiny Diomede. She says her dad, 59-year-old Jim Martinez, was a jolly man who put the needs of others before his own.

However, last week, her dad’s life was unexpectedly cut short. “That was very hard for me to hear that my dad was no longer here,” she says.

Española Police say Martinez was run over by a woman who stole his Jeep Grand Cherokee last week. Diomede says her dad was just hanging out at the speedway and believed he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After spending her first Father’s Day without him, Diomede says it’s heartbreaking to know he wont’ be around for the most important moments in her life. “I never actually got to tell my dad that I was pregnant again and was going to tell him on Father’s Day,” she says.

Officers found the Jeep at an abandoned home in Española earlier this week and have named 24-year-old Tamara Torrez as a person of interest. They say Torrez is not in custody, but they want to talk to her about the case.

Diomede pleads for anyone with information to come forward. “We just want justice for my dad. He never deserved this,” she says.

Martinez worked for the state of New Mexico for 27 years and planned on retiring in December. A memorial for him is scheduled for Wednesday in Española.


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