- Yadhira Romero Martínez was kidnapped, raped and beaten to death after leaving work
- José Cuenca Zúñiga is already in custody, accused of being the alleged perpetrator of the brutal crime
- The crime has caused deep pain and outrage in the Hispanic community of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Young Yadhira Romero Martínez, 19, was beaten to death in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a man who kidnapped and raped her. José Cuenca Zúñiga, the alleged perpetrator of the murder, has already been arrested in Ohio and awaits to be extradited to Minnesota to face justice charged with kidnapping, rape and murder.
The brutal kidnapping and homicide of Yadhira Romero Martínez has shaken the Hispanic immigrant community in Minneapolis, which has rallied around the girl’s family and friends to offer them financial support, spiritual solidarity and demand, together with them, that José Cuenca Zúñiga be harshly punished.
Yadhira Romero Martínez was raped and murdered when leaving work
According to the crime report made by the Minnesota Police Department (MPD), emailed to MundoHispánico, the tragedy began last Thursday, April 22, 2021, when the girl left her job in the city of Bloomington, a southeastern suburb of the Minneapolis metropolitan area. The documents of the case do not detail what the girl worked on, but from her photos on social networks it can be deduced that she was an employee of a Walmart store.
At 4:00 p.m. that Thursday, the girl told her relatives that she would take an Uber car to go home. However, the girl never made it home to Minneapolis. After his absence for several hours, the relatives of Yadhira Romero Martínez filed a complaint for his disappearance on the morning of Friday, April 23.
Yadhira disappears when leaving her job
Because the last known location of Yadhira Romero Martínez was leaving his job, the authorities do not detail what the girl worked on, the report was made before the Bloomington Police Department (BPD), who by protocol reported to their MPD colleagues.
Detectives from both corporations managed to discover through the Global Positioning System (GPS) the location of Yadhira Romero Martínez’s cell phone when he requested the Uber car. Based on that, the agents recovered the videos of the businesses near the area where the young woman was when she requested the car.
Yadhira Romero Martínez never returned home
In the videos of the businesses, it can be seen, according to the authorities’ report, when the young Yadhira Romero Martínez gets into the Uber car from the side of the passenger seat. That is the last image of the girl alive. The MPD did not detail whether the Uber driver is being investigated in the case.
When the family of the young Yadhira Romero Martínez reported her disappearance, the girl was already dead. However, on Friday morning the authorities still did not even know, because the report of another crime still did not connect with the disappearance of the girl.
An unconscious woman lying in a room
On the same Thursday, April 22, 2021, but at night, a woman, her name is not revealed in the documents, called the emergency number of the MPD to request the presence of the authorities, because in a room of her house in the At 3000 18th Avenue there was an unconscious Hispanic woman whom she did not know or understand why she was at home.
Faced with the unusual report of the woman, authorities sent paramedics from the Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) to attend to the unconscious girl. However, when paramedics arrived at the scene, they discovered that the young woman was already dead. It was the body of Yadhira Romero Martínez.
Yadhira Romero Martínez was beaten to death before she died
MFD paramedics then requested the presence of detectives from the MPD Homicide Division to investigate the case. The first report from the forensic doctor who came to the house to investigate the girl’s death, determined that the victim had been very aggressively raped and beaten to death until she died.
During the investigations, the Homicide Division agents asked the owner of the house if she knew the dead woman and the woman insisted that she did not know who it was, since the room in which the body was, of who later identified herself as Yadhira Romero Martínez, she rented it to a Hispanic boy.
José Cuenca Zúñiga is the first suspect
The woman testified that she made a living by renting three of the four rooms in her house to single men and that the room in which the girl’s body had been found was rented by a Hispanic boy named José Cuenca Zúñiga. Detectives from the MPD Homicide Division then issued a search warrant for Cuenca Zúñiga.
On Friday morning, April 23, when the body of the dead girl was officially recognized as that of Yadhira Romero Martínez, the MPD agents discovered that the young woman had a disappearance report made by her colleagues from the BPD. Based on that, his relatives were informed of his murder.
The escape of the alleged murderer of Yadhira Romero Martínez
At first José Daniel Cuenca Zúńiga, 23, was not formally charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of the young Yadhira Romero Martínez and the MPD only issued a search warrant to question him in relation to the case. However, Homicide Division agents discovered that the boy had already escaped from the state of Minnesota.
José Daniel Cuenca Zúńiga’s escape practically incriminated him as the alleged perpetrator in the crime against Yadhira Romero Martínez. The agents of the Homicide Division then issued an arrest warrant, for his probable responsibility in the kidnapping, rape and murder of the young Hispanic woman.
Yadhira’s killer acted with premeditation
During their investigations, the agents of the Homicide Division of the MPD discovered that José Cuenca Zúñiga, the alleged murderer of the young Yadhira Romero Martínez, was hiding in Ohio and told his colleagues of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP). Agents do not detail how they found out where the fugitive was.
On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, José Cuenca Zúñiga was captured and awaits to be transferred to Minneapolis to face justice for the serious charges of kidnapping, rape and murder of the young immigrant Yadhira Romero Martínez. The Hennepin County Prosecutor’s Office, in Minnesota, detailed that the man acted with premeditation in the girl’s crime.
Yadhira Romero Martínez was “a kind soul”
Jennifer Smith, cousin of the murdered young immigrant, opened an account on the social support network Go Fund Me under the name of Get Yadhi Home (Let’s send Yadhi home), to raise funds to help her family so that the girl can be buried in her native Mexico, from where she emigrated to the United States in search of a better life.
“Our family is devastated with this tragic loss,” Jennifer Smith wrote about the death of her cousin Yadhira Romero Martínez and said that the girl was “a kind soul who worked very hard for her family… her parents live in Mexico and cannot come. to the United States, she lived most of her life in Mexico ”.
Yadhira wanted to help her family
According to Jennifer Smith, the young Yadhira Romero Martínez was born in the United States but from a very young age her parents took her back to Mexico and when she reached the age of majority, she decided to return to Minnesota where most of her family was. The girl had barely made it to Minneapolis last January.
“She decided to return in the hope of having better opportunities for her family,” Jennifer Smith wrote about her cousin Yadhira Romero Martínez, saying that her death has had a very hard impact on her parents and her two younger siblings. “She had a bright future, she was taken from us too soon,” Smith finished asking for solidarity help.
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