Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
July, 12th 2020: Marina Martinez, Age 48
Early Sunday morning, 48-year-old Marina Martinez was found at an apartment building near 29th and Highland “covered in blood.” Police said Smith, who has been charged with First Degree Reckless Homicide, lived in the apartment where Martinez was found.
“We really want answers as to what made him act that way,” said Zuleyka Montanez, a friend of the victim. Court documents state Smith and Marina Martinez were “dating for about two months,” and that on the morning of her death — “[Smith] was contemplating suicide.”
Smith “was drinking and heard voices,” according to documents, and “tried to stab himself.” He told police, who recovered a bloody knife from the scene, that Marina Martinez got in the way and “he stabbed her.”
“She was like a mom to me, and for my girls, she was grandma,” Montanez said. “It’s hard.” Described as loving, strong, and funny — Marina Martinez was a support system for many, including Zuleyka Montanez. “Nobody has a right to take anybody’s life, no matter how bad the situation is,” Montanez said. A painful loss that leaves questions — and heartache for those who knew her.
According to court records — a competency exam has been ordered for Smith. That report is expected to be returned at Smith’s next court date — on July 31, 2020.
July, 18th 2020: Unnamed Woman, Age 68
CUDAHY, Wis. (AP) — Police have arrested a 64-year-old Cudahy man after his 68-year-old sister was found dead in the home they shared. Cudahy Police Chief Thomas Poellot says the death is being treated as a homicide. Police were called early Saturday about a person armed with a shotgun. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports when officers arrived, they found the woman dead and arrested her brother. The two were not identified, but the police chief says both lived at the home. The investigation continues, but police say they are not seeking any other suspects.