Make us your home page
Instagram

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 kstanley@sptimes.com 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

Loading...
  1. Florida State out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2011

    Blogs

    Florida State's first 0-2 start since 1989 has led to another low.

  2. From care center to purgatory to 'hellhole': How 11 frail elders died after Irma

    Hurricanes

    As she got ready to say goodbye to her mother at the Hollywood Hills nursing home, Rose Wyda's heart was sick. Hurricane Irma had been gone for nearly 48 hours, but the trail of shattered trees and broken, hissing power lines the storm left behind was still dangerously apparent. And the nursing home was part of the …

  3. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.

  5. 'If anyone can hear us … help.' Puerto Rico's mayors describe 'horror in the streets'

    World

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.