Historic City News has learned that the third “Cold Case” homicide has been cleared in the past eighteen months in St. Johns County.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case detectives with the Robbery and Homicide Unit arrested a 67-year old Duval County man in connection with the death of his wife in November 2007. The suspect, identified as Oscar Hernandez, 67, 4809 N. Wandering Pines Tr., Jacksonville, was arrested late Monday afternoon on a charge of second degree murder.
Hernandez is charged in the death of his wife, identified as Maria E. Martinez, 51, who was located off S.R. 13 North, near C.R. 16A back on 05 November 2007. The partially clothed body was found by two men working for the Department of Environmental Protection as they were testing soil in the area. They then notified the Sheriff’s Office.
The victim was found on the side of a ditch on the east side of S.R. 13 North shortly before 10:00 a.m. that day.
The victim’s husband had reported her missing the day before with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after he claimed she did not return from an early morning walk.
The investigation led detectives to the victim’s husband and they considered him a person of interest from the beginning.
Evidence was collected and analyzed and was turned over to the State Attorney’s Office. At the time the investigation continued in an effort to build a case against the suspect.
Nineteen months later with recent interviews and the results of evidence testing, a warrant was obtained on the second degree murder charge against Hernandez. He was brought in for questioning today and then booked into the County Jail.
According to District Medical Examiner, Dr. Terrence Steiner, at the time, the victim died as a result of manual strangulation and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide.