Pinal County Sheriff’s Detectives Solve Cold Case Homicide

In the early evening of July 29, 2006, the body of Christopher Martin, age 18, a resident of Mesa was found on State Trust land near Meridian Road and Elliot Road in Pinal County. The partially decomposed body was found by nearby by residents as they walked from Meridian Road into the State Trust Land.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and responded to the scene. During the initial investigation, an Arizona Identification Card belonging to Christopher Martin was located. However, due to the advance decomposition, visual identification was impossible. Detectives made contact with Christopher’s parents who explained that Christopher had last been seen on July 25, 2006 at an unknown address on Butternut Avenue, near the intersection of 98th Street and Broadway in Mesa. Christopher’s father had dropped him off and no one in the family had heard from him since.

On August 11, 2006, detectives were able to confirm the identity of the body as Christopher Martin, based upon finger print analysis. Autopsy results also indicated that Christopher had been shot and died as a result of injuries sustained to his head and chest.

Throughout the course of 8 years, detectives continued to work many leads and avenues to this case with negative results. Many rumors were floating around as to who killed Christopher. Detectives worked all available leads, even interviewed again old investigative leads but were unable to conclusively determine who was responsible for his murder.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “In 2013, a letter was mailed to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office by a subject who wanted to remain anonymous. The person writing the letter indicated that his previous girlfriend had possibly lured Chris Martin to her house located on Butternut Avenue, where Chris was killed by a male subject named Marlon Faulkner. Detectives began to focus on these new leads and eventually developed information building Marlon Faulkner as a viable suspect in this case. The Pinal County Attorney’s Office supported the findings.”

On Monday, October 24, 2016 Faulkner was taken into custody while attending an unrelated court appearance at the Pinal County Superior Court. He was booked into the Pinal County Jail for one count of First degree Murder.

Sheriff Babeu continued, “I want to thank the Martin family for their continued help and support over the past 10 years. Detectives told them they would not give up until their son/brothers killer was brought to justice. Marlon Faulkner is sitting in our jail and thanks to the excellent work of our first responders and persistent work of our homicide detectives, he will never walk free again.”

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