NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman who was 9 years old when her father was murdered is credited with tracking down her father’s accused killer thanks to the Internet.
Justo Santos, 43, made his first appearance in a Miami courtroom Tuesday.
Santos is accused of killing Jose Martinez outside his Inwood restaurant in 1986.
Santos is finally behind bars thanks to the Internet, a few hundred dollars and the sheer determination of Joselyn Martinez, who was on a mission to track down her father’s killer, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported.
“I just couldn’t keep living my life knowing I couldn’t do the most possible to help this, and I knew if no one had done it for me I would just have to do it myself,” Martinez said.
For the past six years, Martinez has played detective — searching the Internet, combing through Facebook, MySpace and other websites for any sign of Santos.
“Backgroundcheck.com, USA People Search, Intellius.com, Spokeo … I find one piece and it leads me to another,” Martinez said.
Some of those searches cost Martinez $69.99 but she said she was willing to do it if it meant finding Santos, Carrasco reported.
“I felt like if I was searching I was doing something, but I’m not going to go ahead and call these people,” Martinez said.
Martinez said she had no idea just how much information she had collected over the years about her father’s killer until she brought it to detectives at the 34th Precinct.
The information Martinez gave detectives led them to Santos in Florida, where he was arrested last Thursday. He will be extradited back to New York, Carrasco reported.
“Obviously she made a concerted effort and it paid off and we appreciate it,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Santos is expected to appear in court again on June 25 in Florida before he returns to New York.
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