Suspect in Elizalde slaying released,
investigation continues

April 04, 2014
Santa Paula News

The suspect arrested for the shooting death Saturday of an innocent bystander and held on $1 million bail was released from jail Thursday without charges being filed.

Santa Paula Police and a multi-agency task force that searched three residences for evidence in the March 29 killing of Norma Elizalde arrested Mark Martinez, 31, early Tuesday morning.

The 39-year-old mother of two sons was hit by a stray bullet while standing in the carport of her home located on the 1200 block of High Street when at about 1 p.m. four suspected gang members in the street had an altercation that ended in gunfire.

Police Chief Steve McLean said Martinez, a documented gang member, was suspected for being the driver of the vehicle that held the gunman.

Jail records show Martinez, whose arraignment was scheduled Thursday afternoon, was instead released without a hearing or charges being filed by the District Attorney's Office.

According to the DA's Office there was not enough evidence to hold Martinez-one of four suspects being sought-but the investigation is continuing.

A post on the SPPD Facebook page noted the department "had nothing to do with the release of one of the suspects we believe was involved," and, "We did our job and arrested one of the suspects. If you have an issue with his release I can only refer you to the District Attorney's Office.

"That being said, we will continue to track down the all the animals who were responsible for death. Other than this post I will not comment on his release."

Those with information are urged to contact the SPPD, 805-525-4474.

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