More than ten years later, a Tulare County murder solved with DNA sample


PORTERVILLE, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2006 murder of a 28-year-old woman in Porterville.

According to Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Melissa Martin was found murdered on February 4, 2006, in a storage building at the Porterville Drive-In Theatre. The cause of death was determined to be massive blood loss from a cut to her neck.

Melissa Martin

A suspect in the more-than ten-year-old murder was identified following an arrest in Los Angeles. 35-year-old Raul Facio was detained for grand theft and a DNA sample taken from him matched a DNA sample left at the scene of the murder in Porterville.

Facio was subsequently charged with murder in Tulare County. He was extradited back to the Central Valley after he served his time in Los Angeles County. On Monday, he was found guilty for murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Raul Facio, 35

“I was a homicide prosecutor [at the time of Martin’s murder] and responded to the scene to consult with PPD detectives,” revealed Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward. “I vividly recall the place where Melissa was murdered. I remember the trash, the isolation, and thinking to myself how terrified she must have been in her last moments of life.”

Under current California law, Facio will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

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