Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sex offender charged in killing of pregnant St. Petersburg teen

ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities arrested a 36-year-old St. Petersburg man Thursday on a charge that he killed a pregnant teen whose body was found in Polk County earlier this week.

Aurelio Martinez, a registered sex offender, was arrested about 7 a.m. Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the killing of 17-year-old Bria Metz, also of St. Petersburg.

Detectives took Martinez into custody after they found him hiding in his attic, said Donna Wood, spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff''s Office.

Metz, who family members told detectives was three months pregnant, was last seen April 30 leaving the home she shared with her great-grandmother.

Polk County maintenance workers found her body Monday in a clump of trees.

"We have not slept for days," said Vicki Jones, the teen's aunt. "We prayed, asked God to help us get through this."

Martinez has a long criminal record.

He pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexual battery. He also faces charges of failing to register as a sex offender and violation of probation on a 2003 child abuse case. Details of those cases were not available Thursday.

Martinez also has been arrested on charges of burglary, cocaine possession and battery.

Martinez told detectives Metz was at his home the night she disappeared.

Metz wanted money, Martinez told detectives, and he drove her to her grandmother's house. The two argued in the car and began fighting after Metz threatened to tell police of their relationship.

Martinez told detectives he grabbed Metz's neck and held her for "three to five minutes," Wood said in a news release. When he realized she was no longer moving, he drove to Polk County.

He pulled down a side road, carried Metz into the trees, cut off her clothes and drove back to St. Petersburg. He threw away her belongings along the way, authorities said.

Jones said her family has spent the past several days encouraging people in the community to provide any information about the crime to police. Jones said the outpouring from the community has been immense.

Metz was enrolling at Pinellas Technical Education Center. She wanted to become a hairstylist or nurse, Jones said.

"Bria was a lot of things … but she was our child," Jones said. "Every child is important, regardless of their errors."

Kameel Stanley can be reached at or (727) 893-8643.

Sex offender charged in killing of pregnant St. Petersburg teen 05/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 9, 2009 11:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Another Pinellas foreclosure auction fools bidders, raises questions

    Real Estate

    For the second time in six weeks, a company connected to lawyer Roy C. Skelton stood poised to profit from a Pinellas County foreclosure auction that confused even experienced real estate investors.

    A Palm Harbor company bid  $112,300 for  this Largo townhome at a foreclosure auction July 21 not realizing the auction involved a second mortgage, connected to lawyer and  real estate investor Roy Skelton -- and that the bank could still foreclose on the  first mortgage.
  2. Two wounded in St. Petersburg shooting


    ST. PETERSBURG — Two men were wounded in a shooting Tuesday afternoon, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  3. Pinellas keeps movie dreams alive with indie roles, including Kevin Smith's latest film


    Tampa Bay's film industry isn't dead. It's just resting, staying limber with a few shoestring indies and ambitious life support.

    Indie icon Kevin Smith, pictured at last week's San Diego Comic-Con, recently filmed his latest horror flick Killroy Was Here around Sarasota, and also filmed scenes at a house in St. Petersburg. (Getty Images for IMDb)
  4. Hernando Commission to ponder Weeki Wachee River water woes

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Water-based recreation in western Hernando County is a hot topic among county commissioners, but planned discussions about ongoing problems on the Weeki Wachee River and a new proposal for a potential swimming area in the Weekiwachee Preserve slowed to drip Tuesday.

    Kayaks crowd the Weeki Wachee River. A former Southwest  Florida Water Management District executive believes Hernando County should focus its spending on protecting the river, instead of developing a center and beach at the Weekiwachee Preserve.
Times files (2016)
  5. New Port Richey seeks better special events spread among more city sites

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY – After a $3 million upgrade at New Port Richey's Sims Park, city leaders are worried about the wear and tear on the park from the litany of special events held there.

    Sims Park, the site of popular splash pads and home to frequent festivals and special events in downtown New Port Richey, could see fewer new events because of concerns about wear and tear at the recently renovated park. in a workshop Monday, New Port Richey City Council talked of spreading future events around to other locales in the city. 
TIMES files (2016)