Sunday, July 16, 2000

Blood in van leads to slain woman

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Authorities Saturday charged a Hamilton man with murder after police officers spotted a pool of blood through an open door of his passing van and later found a woman's body nearby — the third slaying in this Butler County city this week.

        Police said that when Martin Delores Rivera-Carrillo was pulled over Saturday morning, he was covered with blood that was not his own. Officers brought him in for questioning, leading to his later arrest.

        The two officers who spotted the blood then worked with two other officers to find the body of Tracey Roark, 38, of the 300 block of Race Street in Hamilton.

        Mr. Rivera-Carrillo, 34, of the 1000 block of High Street but originally from Mexico, will remain in custody until his arraignment Monday.

        Butler County coroner Dr. Richard Burkhardt said an autopsy had not been done, but that the preliminary cause of Ms. Roark's death was multiple stab wounds suffered early Saturday morning.

        “She had not been there long ... it's summer and it's hot and we would have known otherwise,” Dr. Burkhardt said.

        Hamilton Police Lt. Michael Martinsen did not disclose a motive for Saturday's killing or the relationship — if any — between the suspect and the victim.

        He credited Officer Paul Davis, a nine-year veteran of the force, and rookie Officer Lanny Ash for initially spotting the blood while on another traffic stop.

        “They're the ones who made this happen,” Lt. Martinsen said. “Homicides usually happen the other way, finding the victim first and then a suspect. This time, we began with a suspect and worked backwards.”

        After Mr. Rivera-Carrillo was taken to headquarters for questioning, the two patrol officers conferred with two foot patrol officers — Rich Heidorn and Rob Horton.

        Lt. Martinsen said the four officers worked from “developed information” to find the woman's body behind a trash bin a few blocks away in the area of Pershing Avenue and south Seventh and Sixth streets.

        He would not say what the information was.

        Earlier this week, two men were shot to death in separate incidents Sunday and Wednesday that police termed “drug-related.”

        Enquirer reporter Janice Morse contributed.


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