Washington, DC – Police are investigating whether the brutal stabbing murder of a jogger in the nation’s capital was racially motivated.
Wendy Martinez, 35, was jogging in her neighborhood just before 8 p.m. on Sept. 18 when she was attacked by a man with a knife, WUSA reported.
The five-foot-one-inch, 106-pound woman was stabbed seven times, including in her neck and head.
Martinez staggered into a nearby restaurant after she was stabbed, and was able to point out her attacker’s location to bystanders.
The people in the restaurant, including a nurse, tried to help the bleeding woman, but she later died from her injuries, WTOP reported.
Police arrested 23-year-old Anthony Crawford for Martinez’s murder on Sept. 19. He did not cooperate with investigators.
Detectives found a knife covered in "fresh blood," a mustard-colored sweatshirt with possible blood on it, and a blood trail from the scene, WUSA reported.
The same uniquely-colored sweatshirt could be seen in neighborhood surveillance videos, and helped detectives locate Crawford, police said.
"Surveillance video was really the key to closing this case," Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham, according to FOX News.
Chief Newsham has said investigators don’t have a motive for the murder.
But a police source told WUSA that detectives were investigating whether the attack on Martinez was a “racially motivated” hate crime because Crawford “does not like white people.”
Court records said Crawford had mental problems. He exhibited paranoia and agitation, and was quick to become aggressive, WUSA reported.
A witness told police that the suspect was an avid user of the synthetic drug K2, and that he was known by the street name “Fat Gleezy,” FOX News reported.
A family member told police Crawford had been wearing the mustard-colored sweatshirt on the day of the stabbing, and said they recalled seeing bandages on his hands after Martinez’s murder.
When detectives were canvassing a park at the corner of 14th and Girard Streets that Crawford was known to frequent, he approached the officers who then arrested him, WTOP reported.
He was yelling and crying as officers took him into the police department’s homicide unit. Then he waived his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed by the officers, according to WTOP.
“Detectives never made mention of the circumstances of the homicide for which defendant was being charged. Defendant stated however that the detectives were accusing him of stabbing an individual in the course of the homicide, and in specific a ‘little girl,'” according to charging documents signed by DC Police Officer Alexander Vogel.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser told WTOP that authorities were confident they had the person responsible in custody.
“It’s unsettling for anyone who lives in this city to see this happen. It’s an isolated incident. I’m sure that doesn’t bring any level of comfort to the Martinez family,” Chief Newsham said.
Martinez’s family said the murdered young woman had just gotten engaged and bought her wedding gown.
“We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy. Wendy Karina Martinez was the light of our lives,” the family wrote. “Not only was she an avid runner, but she was a devout Christian, a wonderful friend, and a driven professional. Everything you hope that a daughter and a friend could be. She was also excited to be planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Daniel Hincapie. They were engaged just last week.”
The family said they now plan to bury Martinez in the dress she would have been married in.