Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Homeless Man Arrested in 2009 Killing of NY Fashion School Student

The convicted felon walked Carmen Saldana-Mundo home after a party, then forced his way into her apartment, prosecutors say

Thursday, Sep 26, 2013  |  Updated 3:40 PM EDT
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Homeless Man Accused of Killing Fashion School Student

Carmen Saldana Mundo

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Police say they've arrested a 30-year-old homeless man in the 2009 killing of a fashion school student in her Astoria apartment.

Jose Martinez was arrested Wednesday on kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, burglary and other charges. His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment. 

Martinez, a convicted felon, is accused of killing Carmen Saldana-Mundo, who was 23 when she was found dead in her bed the night of July 12, 2009. The Fashion Institute of Technology student shared an apartment on 30th Avenue with her mother and worked at a restaurant in Astoria.

Prosecutors say Martinez offered to walk Saldana-Mundo home after he noticed her on the street leaving a party. He then forced his way into her apartment and attacked her, they say. 

Saldana-Mundo's uncle said at the time "she was naked, and the face looked bad because we thinking maybe she got punched in the face a few times, before or after she got raped."

Family members said the chain latch on the door had been broken.

The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide due to asphyxiation. 

Martinez was arrested after his DNA was run through a database. He was convicted last year on reckless endangerment charges.

Authorities say Martinez initially told police he was 20, so that he would be tried as a juvenile. But he is 30 years old. 

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