WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The mother of a woman who was stabbed to death while jogging near her Washington DC apartment says her daughter fought till the end.
Wendy Martinez, 35, was attacked just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
Martinez, with multiple stab wounds in her neck, managed to stagger into a nearby Chinese carryout restaurant where she collapsed. Several customers tried to help. They performed CPR and tried to stem the bleeding. She was taken to the hospital where she died.
After reviewing surveillance video, police arrested Anthony Crawford in a park Wednesday night about a mile north of where Martinez was attacked. The 23-year-old is charged with first-degree murder, but his motive is unknown. Detectives believe it was a random act of violence.
“We will be taking a look at not only at his criminal past but if he had any mental health issues or substance abuse issues,” said metro police Chief Peter Newsham.
Thursday night a candle vigil was held for Martinez. A former classmate says Martinez graduated from Lake Worth High in 2001 and was a University of Florida graduate.
At the vigil, Martinez’s mother praised the police for quickly arresting a suspect and spoke of her daughter.
“My daughter was the most beautiful, special, vibrant young girl. She was very focused on her career but above all, she was a warrior. She fought up to the last second for her life,” said Cora Martinez.
Martinez urged mourners at the vigil to live by her daughter’s example.
“My daughter fought up to the last breath, she fought courageously, you do the same,” she said.
Martinez had gotten engaged last week and her mother said it had been the happiest time of her daughter’s life.
“You know I’m going to keep her alive by helping her to achieve the dreams that she wanted to achieve,” said Martinez’s fiance Daniel Hincapie.
Hincapie said Martinez, an avid runner, was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but the South Florida native’s ultimate goal was to help poor women in Nicaragua, where her parents are from.
Her younger brother Juan Carlos called her his role model.
“I don’t think I’ve fully processed it yet. I think the only thing I’m at peace with right now is it’s a random act of violence,” he said.
Cora Martinez said because of her Christian faith and the outpouring of support from the community she feels no hatred for her daughter’s killer.
“I’m sad but at the same time, I’m not resentful. I have chosen to forgive and I forgive that person,” she said.