Search renewed for fugitive suspect in 1999 Guntersville murder - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Search renewed for fugitive suspect in 1999 Guntersville murder

Juan Carlos Martinez (Source: Marshall County Sheriff's Office) Juan Carlos Martinez (Source: Marshall County Sheriff's Office)

There is a renewed effort to find the man responsible for a murder in Guntersville nearly two decades ago.

37-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez is wanted for murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

It's been 18 years since the death of Marlin Strange. Family members are happy the case is being reopened, but they would like to see justice.

"Like it was yesterday, actually," said Charles Ellis.

For Ellis, it's hard to believe it was 18 years ago his son-in-law, Strange, was gunned down in cold blood at the now-defunct business IMH on Hustleville Road outside Guntersville by a coworker.

"Had a 9 mm, nine-shot weapon. He discharged all nine shots. Seven of those hit Marlin," said Ellis.

Martinez was later charged with murder. He's still on the run.

The murder has left a lasting impact. Strange had a 5-year-old daughter at the time. Courtney is now 23 and had to grow up without him. She now has children of her own.

"But these two grandkids are missing a grandfather," said Ellis.

Ellis said Martinez was here illegally, and if laws were enforced, their family wouldn't have been shattered.

"If we'd enforce that immigration law as it's on the books, Juan Carlos couldn't have committed this crime, this violent act, because he wouldn't have been here," said Ellis.

Now nobody knows if Martinez is in the USA or in his native country of Mexico.

"I've got a voice crying, and that voice is saying justice for all," said Ellis.

There is a $15,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of Martinez.

Authorities say Martinez is believed to have initially fled to Mexico but is believed to have maintained contact with his extended family in the United States. He may possibly have returned to the southeastern region several times.

You can help Marlin Strange's family. If you know anything about where Martinez might be, call the Marshall County Sheriff's Office at 256-582-2034 with what you know.

Martinez  is 5 feet 6 inches tall and approximately 145 pounds. He wore a thin mustache in the past.

Deputies say to consider him armed and dangerous.

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