Stockton Police Arrest Suspect Connected to 2016 Shooting Death of 3-Year-Old Melanie Martinez

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STOCKTON -- The Stockton Police Department has made an arrest in the shooting death of 3-year-old Melanie Martinez.

On September 25, 2016, Melanie was struck by gunfire while riding in the back seat of a car in the area of Jefferson and Commerce streets.

She later died from her injuries at the hospital.

The Stockton community prayed and on Thursday, authorities arrested an 18-year-old man in connection to the shooting. He was arrested near where Melanie was killed but investigators have not said what the teen’s exact role in her killing was.

“We're still working the case and we're still asking for anybody with any information to come forward,” said Community Service Officer, Rosie Calderon with Stockton Police.

Calderon says because the suspected killer was 15 at the time, the police department will not release his identity.

Now, though the arrest is a great stride towards justice, the family says they've had to relive Melanie's death all over again.

Kimberly Botello told FOX40 at her daughter’s funeral she would not wish this grief on anyone.

“I wouldn’t want another mom to go through what I’m going through… it really hurts,” she said.

Days after he helped lay his cousin to rest, Jose Nunez was also gunned down.

Investigators say at this time both cases are considered unrelated and Jose’s case is still unsolved.

“Our detectives are working hard to try and resolve those cases and bring justice to those families that are affected,” Calderon said.

The families stress that both Melanie and Jose are innocent.

The suspect was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on murder and attempted murder charges.

Officers say Melanie’s case is still open so more arrests may be made.

There is a $15,000 crime stoppers reward in Jose’s case and a $25,000 in Melanie’s murder.

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