Monday, June 25, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater police name suspect in 2003 slaying of mother, toddler

CLEARWATER — After nine years without significant leads, police have named a suspect in the stabbing deaths of a 31-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son.

Clearwater detectives believe Gilberto Juarez-Hernandez, 32, stabbed Petra and Uriel Martin in their home on July 19, 2003. The toddler had cancer and had just finished a last round of chemotherapy before his death.

Police have not arrested Juarez-Hernandez and don't know where he is, but a warrant has been issued for his arrest on two counts of capital murder. Detectives have issued a "red notice" through Interpol, which notifies 190 countries that he is wanted.

A bloody fingerprint implicated Juarez-Hernandez, Clearwater police Lt. James Kleinsorge said during a news conference Monday. Recent advances in fingerprint technology finally led to a match.

Petra Martin lived with her son and infant daughter in the East Gateway area east of downtown Clearwater. They shared the home with Martin's boyfriend and a couple of roommates. Martin was a native of Hidalgo, a state in Mexico, but family members said then that she had lived in the United States for several years.

The infant daughter was at the home at the time of the killings, but was not harmed. She is now living with family members in Mexico, police said.

In 2003, the lack of a suspect and the fact that a child was killed spread fear through the local Hispanic community.

"After 21 years in law enforcement," Kleinsorge said, "this is by far the most heinous crime I've ever been involved in."

The slayings were not random, Kleinsorge said, but it isn't clear how well Martin knew Juarez-Hernandez. Police have not determined a motive.

Juarez-Hernandez's last known address was in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2008. In a photo detectives obtained from a 1999 arrest there, Juarez-Hernandez has dark hair, brown eyes and moles below his left eye and to the left of his nose. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds, and has scars across his back and on his left hand.

He may also be called Gilbert, Jorge Campos, Gilberto Hernandez-Sanchez, Gilberto Mercado-Hernandez or Gilberto Juarez.

He was living illegally in the United States at the time of the killings and may now be in Florida, Iowa or Mexico, police said.

Clearwater police ask anyone with information to call their tip line at (727) 562-4422. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by texting the letters "CWPD" with information to tip411 (847411) from their cellphones.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4224.

Comments
Tampa man faces murder charge in hit-and-run that killed father during family bike ride

Tampa man faces murder charge in hit-and-run that killed father during family bike ride

TAMPA — A Tampa man faces charges , including premeditated first-degree murder, following his arrest Sunday night in a hit-and-run that killed a father and left his 3-year-old son seriously injured while on a family bike ride earlier in the afternoon...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Father dead, suspect in custody after hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

Father dead, suspect in custody after hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

A Tampa man is dead and his 3-year-old son is in serious condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as they went on a family bike ride Sunday afternoon.A male suspect is in custody and being interviewed by police but his name has not yet be...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURGSuspect dead, 2 injured in home invasion, shootingThree people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the peop...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 19-year-old driver died in a three-car crash on Moon Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.Jillian Faith Hitt, 19 and of New Port Richey, was driving north on the road in a 2008 Hyundai Accent, weari...
Published: 06/24/18
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG — A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Published: 06/24/18
Authorities find

Authorities find "inmate" who walked away from Bilirakis event

The 23-year-old man who authorities said walked away from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center on Saturday has been located.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate"...
Published: 06/23/18
FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

A Clearwater man who authorities said sideswiped a car while driving more than 100 miles per hour the wrong way on U.S. 41 was arrested Friday. Wendel Jamel James, 35, is charged with DUI with property damage, reckless driving and leaving the scene ...
Published: 06/23/18
Tampa boy, 14, shot, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and on his way home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he fa...
Published: 06/22/18
Updated: 06/24/18
Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

CLEARWATER — Police detectives are searching for a man coined the "Bic Bandit" based on reports that he’s stolen dozens of lighters from the same 7-Eleven.According to Clearwater police, the man has swiped the lighters four times in the last month, t...
Published: 06/22/18
FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was killed and three others were seriously injured after a pickup truck and motorcycle crashed head-on Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Floyd Williamson, 72, of Lakeland, was driving northbound on U....
Published: 06/22/18