CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - A break in the 2011 case of a man found stabbed to death in his Coral Springs apartment has led to the arrest of two men.
Jason Martinez and Kadian Roper remain at the Broward County Jail charged with premeditated first-degree murder in connection to the July 2011 murder of Michael Hamilton.
Officials and the victim’s family addressed reporters on Monday. “The arrest of these two subjects has made our community a lot safer, and for that we are all eternally grateful,” said Coral Springs Police Deputy Chief Sean Becker.
Hamilton’s mother, Kathy Green, remembers the moment police called her. “On July 10, 2011, I received a call from Detective Koenig informing me that my only son, Michael Todd Hamilton, had been found murdered in his apartment in Coral Springs,” she said. “No one is ever prepared for that call.”
Detectives believe the suspects’ motive was robbery. Investigators said they came to the victim’s apartment looking for money and marijuana, and both suspects ended up fighting with him. Martinez then grabbed a knife and fatally stabbed him. Hamilton was 31.
Police said Martinez and Roper knew both the victim and his roommate and had been to their apartment on previous occasions.
Green expressed relief about the outcome of the investigation. “It will be six years next month, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of my son and the way he was brutally murdered,” said Green. “The citizens of Coral Springs can now rest easier knowing that two murderers are no longer walking the streets of this beautiful city.”
Police said Martinez sustained cuts during the incident and left blood at the scene. Officials said Roper also left behind DNA evidence.
“It was a very complicated case. It started off with a very horrific crime scene,” said Coral Springs Police Sgt. Scott Myers. “In that crime scene, we had blood evidence, DNA evidence.”
They had nearly 50 people submit DNA samples. Although Martinez was a suspect early on, he declined to give a sample.
Detectives said Martinez gave them a bogus alibi and denied any involvement. However, investigators continued to push for more leads, following the suspect to New York City.
“Jason purchased some, I believe it was lemonade at a grocery store,” said Myers. “He was drinking the lemonade. The detectives were able to obtain that lemonade [bottle] after he had discarded it in the trash.”
Detectives then submitted the bottle to a lab, and the sample came back as a match for the DNA found at the scene of the murder.
Police took Martinez into custody Feb. 8. That arrest eventually led detectives to Roper, whom they apprehended on Wednesday.
Officials said detectives followed Roper to a supermarket in Lauderhill. As he was walking to his car, the suspect spit on the pavement. Law enforcers collected the spit, and the sample turned out to be a DNA match as well.
Hamilton’s family thanked investigators for never giving up hope. “Losing a loved one to murder is never easy, and all those involved want to bring justice to the family of the victim,” she said. “I am so grateful that we have two arrests in Michael’s case. They are no longer among us, and they are now behind bars.”
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