NYPD linked Westchester man to 1999 murder of Bronx teen with family DNA

A Westchester County man identified for giving astronomy classes on the town’s sidewalks was arraigned Tuesday for the 1999 murder of a 13-year-old Bronx girl.

Joseph Martinez, aka “Jupiter Joe,” was arrested Monday on second-degree homicide costs within the killing of Minerliz Soriano the after cops linked the 49-year-old to the brutal crime utilizing household DNA — the primary time New York City made a bust utilizing the expertise, authorities stated.

Police cracked the case by linking DNA extracted from a semen stain on the sweater Minerliz was carrying when her physique was discovered wrapped in a trash bag in a Co-op metropolis dumpster, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark stated. She died from compression to her throat and have been sexually abused, the DA stated.

Joseph Martinez, a.ok.a. “Jupiter Joe,” was arrested Monday after cops linked him to the brutal crime utilizing household DNA.
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Joseph Martinez in an undated mugshot.
Those who knew Martinez had been shocked by the costs in opposition to him.

“This beautiful little girl was treated as less than human,” Clark stated at a information convention on Tuesday. “It has been 22 years since her life has been taken.”

Soriano’s household attended the announcement and sat in chairs alongside the facet with anguished expressions on their face.

The NYPD and DA had been capable of join the DNA specimen from the crime to male family members utilizing a New York State database of convicted offenders. Martinez’s father, who’s lifeless, got here up as a match, police stated. Authorities then acquired a person pattern from Martinez however didn’t say how they acquired the specimen.

Photo of Minerliz Soriano
Thirteen-year-old Minerliz Soriano was discovered strangled and dumped in a dumpster in February 1999.
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Minerliz Soriano
Minerliz Soriano’s killer has been discovered by linking household DNA again to the now 49-year-old Martinez.
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“Bringing it to New York City was no easy task,” stated Emanuel Katranakis, commanding officer of the NYPD Forensic Investigation Unit.

“There are many, many out there that feel that this particular technique is something that the NYPD should never use,” he stated. “But I say to all the families of victims and all those out there that we should use it and we are going to use it. Every person has a right to be safe in a sense of using familial DNA searching to stop these violent individuals.”

The arrest shocked those that knew Martinez as “Jupiter Joe,” an individual who was identified locally and was frequently seen interacting with kids. Martinez would typically stand on sidewalks and even subway platforms with a big telescope.

Minerliz Soriano's family listens as the Bronx DA addresses the media and them in regard to the 1999 cold case.
Minerliz Soriano’s household listens because the Bronx DA addresses the media and them in regard to the 1999 chilly case.
Tomas E. Gaston

He is profiled in a number of Youtube movies that present him discussing space and the moon with younger kids on metropolis streets.

“I have no words…you never really know people you think you kind of know,” stated one Facebook person who shared The Post’s article about Martinez’s arrest.

“I cannot believe this,” stated one other. “I have known this man for 30 years and never once was he rude or mean or aggressive … This can’t be right.”

Crime scene where remains on 13-year-old Minerliz Soriano were found.
The stays of 13-year-old Minerliz Soriano had been present in a Bronx dumpster in 1999.
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One person who stated he had identified Martinez for 30 years stated “there needs to be extra to this.

“The man I know could not do something like this,” he stated.

Additional reporting by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

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