On October 14, 2017, Maria Guzman was reported missing from her family’s apartment in Vista. Her husband, Hector Martinez, reported that Maria had left the home the night before, after the two had an argument. Martinez told Vista Sheriff’s Deputies that shortly after the argument at about 9:00 p.m. on October 13, 2017, Maria left their apartment to go for a walk. Martinez also said Maria did not take anything with her.
Maria’s remains were recently located in a rural area near Palomar Mountain and positively identified through DNA. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office staff examined the remains and was unable to determine a cause and manner of death. Evidence gathered over the course of the year-long investigation linked Martinez to Maria Guzman’s murder.
Hector Martinez was arrested this morning near his Vista residence by Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives and booked into the San Diego Central Jail for PC 187, Murder. He is being held without bail.
Detectives believe Martinez transported Maria’s body to the Palomar Mountain area on October 13th or 14th, 2017 in a four door white sedan or a burgundy SUV. We are asking anyone who may have seen any related suspicious activity that weekend to please call Sheriff’s Homicide.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or visiting the Crime Stoppers website at Https://www.sdcrimestoppers.org/