Deceased father-to-be featured on billboards

10:43 PM, Jan 7, 2011   |    comments
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Emilio and Kacee Martinez
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Tampa, Florida - Starting this weekend, the face of deceased father-to-be Emilio Martinez-Rodriguez will be seen all over Tampa Bay.

Clear Channel Outdoor is showing his picture and information on electronic billboards in hopes of it leading to tips that will catch the 34-year-old's killer.

"We don't feel like it was someone who was just wandering through the neighborhood and just happened to come across Martinez there. This was not random," said Major Russell Marcotrigiano.

Martinez went missing on December 15 after leaving his home to get Chinese food for his pregnant wife.  His body was found eight days later on December 23 near Orient Road and Sligh Avenue.

His wife, Kacee, spoke for the first time Thursday at Tampa Police Headquarters since the death of her husband.

After her desperate plea to the public for more information, more tips have come in to investigators.

"She wants to know what happend to her husband, simple, that's it.  She wants closure and we want closure," said Major Marcotrigiano.

Now, a $5,000 reward is being offered. It was announced Thursday afternoon that the money would be given for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the Martinez case.

$4,000 is being offered by his family, while Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay will put up $1,000.

Martinez's wife, Kacee, is four months pregnant.

"I know he'll be there when this child is born.  I truly believe that," said Kacee through tears. "I miss coming back home and having him kiss me, hug me, and rubbing my belly every night."

Detectives did not give many new details about the case on Thursday, although they did describe his death as "violent and very disturbing."

"His disapperance and demise was the result of someone who was after him," said Major Marcotrigiano.

Police say Martinez was targeted, but they have no idea why. There is nothing in his past, they say, that would be cause for concern.

Kacee Martinez says her family continues to search for closure, knowing their lives will never be the same. "It will make it a lot easier to move forward if I know who is responsible," she said.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Melanie Michael, 10 News

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