MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Police are searching for a killer who had a small dog with him when he stabbed a 41-year-old man to death and then fled.
The victim, Reinaldo Martinez, struggled to survive, leaving a trail of bloody footprints from the gas station where the crime happened on N.W. 7th St. and N.W. 51st Ave. to the apartment where he lived with his elderly mother one block away.
That’s where neighbor Emma Barro recalled seeing the mother after she was told what happened.
“I saw the mother crying in the hallway,” said Barro. “She said they killed my son. They killed my son.”
Maggie Rojas lives next to the Chevron station and heard the victim and the killer speaking shortly before 2:30 this morning.
“I just know I heard him say, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do this’ and all of a sudden I heard the assailant say, ‘I’m going to stick it.’ Where, I am not going to say the words,” said Rojas.
Rojas told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I’m very upset. You know I have not slept since 2 o’clock this morning. I tried to put my head in the pillow but all I could see was these things happening. It was awful.”
Miami Police said the suspect is in his 30’s or early 40’s but Rojas said he sounded older than that.
“He sounded like more of an older person,” she said. “His voice sounded more like the crackling of an elderly person. I’d like to hear that voice again after he is caught. You don’t do that to anyone.”
Miami Police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz said it’s not known what prompted the confrontation between the two men. He said Martinez was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital before he died.
Cruz told D’Oench a witness who saw Martinez leaving a trail of blood along N.W. 7th St. called police.
“We’re looking for a mulatto male who is possibly Hispanic,” said Cruz. “He is five foot eight to five foot ten inches tall, in his 30s or early 40s and he was wearing a dark-colored jacket.”
“This is the key component,” said Cruz. “He was accompanied by some sort of small dog that he was often seen with. We’re not sure what type of dog it was, maybe a chihuahua or a terrier.”
“We’re eager to get this person behind bars before he strikes again,” said Cruz.
Records show that Martinez had been arrested before for drug and loitering charges.
Martinez’s friends said they were saddened by his death.
“He was a great person. He had his problems but at the end of the day he was a great person,” said Susanna Betancourt, who said she had known Martinez for a couple of months.
“It’s not right what they did to him and I really hope that they find the person that did that to him,” said
The victim’s mother and aunt both said they were too upset to make any comment right now.
Meanwhile, Miami Police detectives have been trying to find out if there is any useful surveillance tape to release. The Chevron station has outdoor surveillance cameras that may have captured the suspect’s face.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Miami-Dade Crimnestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).