Crime

DNA match leads to arrest in 2014 Waterford homicide

How DNA evidence works

With the exception of identical twins, each person has a unique DNA profile. This makes DNA matching a powerful tool for finding and convicting the perpetrator of a crime.
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With the exception of identical twins, each person has a unique DNA profile. This makes DNA matching a powerful tool for finding and convicting the perpetrator of a crime.

DNA on a knife that was left at the scene of a 2014 homicide in Waterford led to an arrest on Monday.

Israel Martinez, 25, has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the shooting death of 42-year-old Teresa Unsiog.

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Unsiog, of Rio Linda, was visiting her boyfriend who lived on South Becky Way when she was killed.

At about 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 19, 2014, the couple heard noises coming from the backyard where the victim’s boyfriend had a marijuana grow. Authorities said there were about 25 plants, including large plants ready to harvest.

The couple went to the backyard to investigate and saw several people stealing marijuana plants, authorities said.

They confronted suspects, several of whom fired guns at them, striking Unsiog once. The suspects drove away from the area in several cars.

Unsiog was taken to a local hospital, where she died from her injuries.

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Sgt. Josh Clayton said Tuesday that a DNA match on a knife left at the scene led detectives to Martinez.

He did not have any details about when or how a match was made but said Martinez had been arrested multiple times before and after the homicide. Adults arrested for any felony offense are subject to DNA collection, according to the California Department of Justice.

Martinez is the only suspect arrested so far in connection with the murder.

Investigators ask anyone with possible information on this incident to contact Detective David Hickman at 209-525-7042.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.
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