Wayne County woman charged with murder after husband’s body recovered from Seneca River


(News 8 WROC file photo)

CLYDE, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State Police officials say a Wayne County woman has been charged with murder for her husband’s death.

Officials say police responded to an address in the Village of Clyde Sunday for the report of a missing adult male, 59-year-old Rafael Martinez.

Wednesday, police recovered the body of Martinez from the Seneca River in Cayuga County.

Also Wednesday, police arrested 53-year-old Linda Martinez, Rafael’s wife, for murder in the second degree.

Felicia Baxer, one of Rafael’s ten children, told News 8 Wednesday police have been vey helpful in this case. She says right now what they know is Linda Martinez confessed to killing Rafael, and just ‘snapped’ and shot him. 

Baxter says it’s going to be very hard going forward with the large Martinez clan not having their family touchstone in-place. She described Rafael as a constant help to all of the family, a fixer-upper who loved gathering at things like cook outs and pig roasts and making sure everyone was smiling. 

“My dad was… you could say his name in any town out there and everyone knew my dad. He’s a very well-known family man. He loved to hang out with his family, and see his kids. He has ten kids. He just loved to hang out and be around his family. He loved fishing. He loved all his grandkids. He was a well-known family man and he made everyone laugh all the time,” says Felicia Baxter.

Another daughter, Diane Martinez-Deruyer, said the following in a statement.

“We are all extremely heartbroken to learn of our father’s death (murder). The investigation is ongoing and we are hopeful that those responsible will be brought to justice. The NYS Police Department have been wonderful throughout the past few days, being available to answer any questions we may have. Our father would be happy to see all of his children together right now. There was nothing more important to him than his family. He was known by many people in the community. Always willing to help anyone with anything and with no expectations. He was black belt in Shaolin Fung Fu Karate, Bruce Lee was his idol. A Bills AND Patriots football fan, an animal lover always having at least a German Shepard, and a friend to many. He will be greatly missed. A GoFundMe will be created soon, as we will need help with funeral and burial expenses.”

— Diane Martinez-Deruyer

Linda Martinez was committed to the Wayne County Jail and is awaiting centralized arraignment. Police say the investigation is ongoing and further details regarding the case will be released in the future.

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