Things That Matter

Nicole Martinez Was Kidnapped and Found Safe in Virginia

Photo via PPinesPD/Twitter

The public has been informed of a happy ending to a story that could have ended tragically. Authorities have revealed that the Florida teen Nicole Martinez who was abducted by gunpoint on Sunday morning has been found safely in Virginia.

According to police, 18-year-old Nicole Martinez was found unharmed with her kidnapper, 37-year-old Jaddier Sanchez.

Florida authorities revealed that Sanchez abducted Martinez and her parents by gunpoint from their home in Pembroke Pines shortly after midnight on Sunday. He forced Martinez and her parents into their Dodge Ram pickup truck and drove the family around, forcing them to withdraw cash at various ATM machines.

He drove the car to Palm Beach, at which point he told the parents to “get out”. He then drove off with Nicole still in the car, against her will. Martinez’s parents were found wandering at the side of the road by authorities around 5:30 am on Sunday.

The Virginia authorities were able to locate Sanchez around 1 a.m. Monday morning, driving on the Interstate 95 near Springfield in the stolen vehicle.

According to police reports, he was arrested “without incident”. A preliminary search of the car turned up crack cocaine as well as a loaded firearm.

Per the police, Martinez was not gravely harmed, but she was nonetheless taken to a Virginia hospital for minor injuries. Authorities are not giving any other update on her physical condition.

In Virgina, Sanchez faced a judge for three weapons charges, a drug charge and a traffic offense. In Florida, he faces a myriad of other legal troubles. Florida police have yet to formally charge Sanchez, but the Florida man is facing charges of armed robbery, three counts of kidnapping, and grand theft of a vehicle.

According to Martinez’s parents, the family was acquainted with the kidnapper through their daughter.

Police have since revealed that 37-year-old Sanchez was in a “romantic relationship” with the 18-year-old. No further details have been given.

Since his arrest, reports have come out the at Sanchez has spent most of his adult life in and out of prison.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, since he was 18-years-old, Sanchez has been charged with shoplifting, burglary, larceny, aggravated stalking, trespassing, aggravated battery, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and domestic violence with intent to kill.

Sanchez had been behind bars since 2006, but was released in late 2020. It didn’t take much time for him to get in trouble with the law again, however.

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Motivated By Jealousy, a Man Shot and Killed a Family of Six At a Party In Colorado Springs

Things That Matter

Motivated By Jealousy, a Man Shot and Killed a Family of Six At a Party In Colorado Springs

via Getty Images

Colorado has a history of mass shootings that date all the way back to the 1999 Columbine Massacre. Just a few months ago, 10 people died from a mass shooting in a grocery store in Boulder, CO. And this past weekend, more people lost their lives at the hands of a madman with a gun. This time, the shooting happened in Colorado Springs.

Over the weekend, eight people were shot and killed. The shooting happened at a birthday party in Colorado Springs. The police say that the suspect shot the family because he was jealous that he wasn’t invited to the party.

“When he wasn’t invited to a family gathering the suspect responded by opening fire and killing six victims before taking his own life,” said Colorado Springs police chief Vince Niski about the shooting.

The Colorado Springs shooting victims were all family members and all Latino. They are: Melvin Perez, 31, Mayra Perez, 32, Jose Gutierrez, 21, Joana Cruz, 53, Jose Ibarra, 26, and Sandra Ibarra, 28. Three children, aged 2, 5, and 11, also witnessed the shooting, but survived. According to police, the murders left all three children orphaned.

The shooter was 26-year-old Teodoro Macias. Macias and Sandra Ibarra for a year. Macias took his own life after his rampage.” “At the core of this horrendous act is domestic violence,” Chief Niski said. “The suspect, who was in a relationship with one of the victims, displayed power and control issues in this relationship.”

The Colorado Springs shooting is sparking a national discussions about domestic violence, misogyny, mass shootings, and gun control legislation.

“In Colorado, we’ve had domestic terrorism incidents where lots of people were killed,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “We’ve had random acts like going into King Soopers or a movie theater. But let’s not forget about the lethality of domestic violence.”

According to police, Teodoro Macias had no criminal record. Sandra Ibarra never reported any incidents of domestic violence. But family members told police that Macias was “jealous” and “controlling.”

Macias tried to isolate Ibarra from her family–hallmarks of violent and abusive partners. The couple had been fighting the week before the shooting.

Right now, the extended family of the victims are struggling to make funeral arrangements because the amount of loved ones that have died is “overwhelming”.

Thankfully, a family friend has set up a Facebook page to raise funds for the family’s funeral expenses.

In the meantime, the Colorado Springs community and the nation at large are reeling over another mass shooting. This time, the epidemic of domestic violence fueled this mass shooting. “Women in the U.S. are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed than women in any other high-income country,” wrote gun control activist Shannon Watts on Twitter. “Every country is home to domestic abusers, only America gives them easy access to arsenals and ammunition.”

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Three Years After Traumatic Deportation, Alejandra Juarez Will Be Reunited With Her Family

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Three Years After Traumatic Deportation, Alejandra Juarez Will Be Reunited With Her Family

Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Scenes of her traumatic deportation made headlines around the world as she was forced to say goodbye to her husband (a U.S. veteran) and children back in 2018. Now, Alejandra Juarez is headed back to the United States just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with her family.

Alejandra Juarez is back with her family three years after her very public and traumatic deportation to Mexico.

The wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, Alejandra Juarez’s deportation to Mexico made international headlines as she was forced to say goodbye to her husband and daughters at Orlando International Airport back in 2018. Many Americans found her story to be so powerful since she was married to a retired U.S. Marine, Cuauthemoc ‘Temo’ Juarez and each of her children are U.S. citizens. Not to mention Juarez had been living in the United States since she was 18 years old.

Since her deportation in 2018, Juarez has been living in Mexico but will be allowed to return to Florida – where her family is located – within the next couple of days. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted Juarez humanitarian parole

Juarez is the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran whose traumatic deportation scene at Orlando International Airport in 2018 made headlines worldwide. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted her a temporary reprieve known as humanitarian parole. Humanitarian parole allows entry to the country “due to an emergency” for someone who is otherwise not allowed to be in the country.

“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for,” Juarez told the Orlando Sentinel in an exclusive interview. “Once inside, I’m going to keep fighting and hopefully there’s a way I can find a permanent solution, but this is great!”

The emergency order allows Juarez to remain in the country until she finds a solution.

Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) has been an advocate on behalf of the Juarez family and even joined Alejandra during her tearful goodbye to her family at the Orlando Airport.

According to report by the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, Soto said that his staff had sent a letter to his contacts at the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and ICE officials, hoping they would reopen her case.

Around the same time, President Biden entered office and overturned the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy which had led to Alejandra’s deportation order. It’s also worth mentioning that Alejandra’s husband had voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 election without ever thinking that his wife could be targeted for deportation.

Congressman Soto has been a fighter for Alejandra while she’s been more than 700 miles away in Mexico and is proud to see justice for the Juarez family.

“When President Biden was elected, we knew there was a new hope of bringing her back,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “But it was Alejandra overall, who showed the tenacity and determination to stop at nothing to get back to her family.”

Juarez’s story further captured our hearts and minds as part of a Netflix series.

Despite being hundreds of miles apart, the Juarez family has not remained silent. In fact, Alejandra’s story was told as part of the Netflix documentary series Living Undocumented. Juarez, along with seven other immigrants, clips of interviews with Juarez and Estela, 10, who talks about President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on deporting those in the country without permission.

“He was going to deport criminals, but my mom is not a criminal,” Estela says. “She’s a military wife.”

And daughter Estela even took her mother’s case to the presidential campaign, when she read a powerful letter to then-President Donald Trump detailing her mother’s case and the agony her family has suffered. Thankfully, now, the family will soon be reunited just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day together.

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