1. Archive

Boyfriend charged in slaying

One of Maria Elaina Martinez's stockings was used to strangle her and was still wrapped around her neck when her naked body was found dumped on a north Tampa street early Wednesday.

Police said they found the matching stocking, a black nylon with stripes, in Martinez's bedroom. The mattress at 203 E Linebaugh Ave. was bloody.

Police questioned Martinez's live-in boyfriend, William John Montez.

At first, Montez, 37, told police it was Monday that he'd last seen Martinez, who worked as an escort, according to an arrest report. Then he said that it was Tuesday at 8 p.m. when he went to sleep, the report said, and that Martinez was gone when he awoke Wednesday.

Montez, 37, was booked at the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of first-degree murder Wednesday night. He is being held without bail.

Police said Montez wouldn't talk about the death.

"When we questioned him specifically about the case, he elected to talk to a lawyer," homicide Sgt. Dan Grossi said.

Investigators said Montez strangled Martinez with the pantyhose, cutting deep into her neck, then put her in the trunk of his car and left her at N 17th Street and Bougainvillea Avenue. Her body was discovered at 3 a.m. by a passing motorist.

The pattern of a speaker cover in Montez's trunk matched the pattern of an imprint on her foot, Grossi said.

Police said they don't know why Martinez was killed.

Montez was arrested a few times in 1997 for possession of an open container, jail records show.

Martinez also had a record dating back to 1994. She had been charged with possession of cocaine and prostitution.