AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a man stabbed and killed in south Austin is offering reward money from information leading to an arrest.
Austin police believe Nikolas Eugenio Martinez was stabbed either in his apartment complex’s parking lot or in his car the night of July 23. He called 911 himself, then drove down the road to a gas station for help.
Martinez’s family held a press conference with the lead investigator in the case Tuesday, offering an $8,000 reward toward the arrest of the person who stabbed him.
APD said dispatchers got a call from Martinez after he was stabbed around 10:20 p.m. July 23. After he made it to the convenience store in the 2000 block of south I-35, several people tried to help him, APD says. When officers and medics arrived, they attempted life-saving measures, but Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:47 p.m.
The Travis County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Martinez the day after his death. It was Austin’s 48th homicide of the year, APD said.
If you know anything about the incident, contact the APD homicide division at (512) 974-8477 or the Crime Stoppers tip line at (512) 472-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
“That day he was just doing his normal thing. He actually told my nephew over the online games that he was going to get his laundry, so that’s what we think he was doing,” said Wendy Martinez, his mom.
Martinez added, “We don’t know of anyone who would want to hurt him.”
APD says no witnesses have come forward. Because of that, detectives aren’t sure whether the stabbing was random.
“A case where someone, where a witness knows somebody else is always going to be solved faster,” said Det. Christopher Vanlandingham, the lead investigator in the case. “But a case like this where we don’t have a witness that knows the person that did this, it’s going to take a little bit more time.”
Det. Vanlandingham hopes a photo of the knife police believe was used will help.
It’s an MTech Ballistic MT-A890 knife. The knife pictured has neon highlights in its indentations, which Vanlandingham says the manufacturer doesn’t add to knives, so he believes the suspect may have added those. He hopes someone will recognize it.
“We solve a very high percentage of our cases, and it’s really with the help of the public, with the help people coming and being willing to give information and being willing to work with us,” Vanlandingham said. “That’s why we have such a success rate. And I believe this case won’t be any different. Ultimately, I believe we’ll figure out who did this to Mr. Martinez.”
Detectives are asking anyone who recognizes the knife, has video of the incident or has information about what happened to call APD’s Homicide Unit at (512) 974-TIPS, email firstname.lastname@example.org, utilize the Crime Stoppers tip line at (512) 472-8477 (TIPS), or the Crime Stoppers app. Tips may remain anonymous.
In addition to the family’s $8,000 reward, Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone who can help lead police to an arrest.