Saturday, July 22, 2000

Suspect's statement described

Murder hearing held

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A police detective said Friday that Martin Rivera-Carrillo admitted to him that he killed a woman he picked up in his van after she took $40 off his dashboard.

        Mr. Rivera said he stopped Tracey Jean Roark when she tried to leave the vehicle, Hamilton Police Detective Steve Rogers testified at a preliminary hearing in Hamilton Municipal Court.

        “He said she grabbed the razor knife he used for his drywall work,” he said. “They struggled, and at some point, the knife went into her throat.”

        Ms. Roark was stabbed 47 times, Detective Rogers said.

        Judge John Rosmarin sent the case to a Butler County grand jury. He ordered Mr. Rivera to continue to be held without bond at the Butler County Jail.

        Mr. Rivera, 34, of Hamilton is charged with murder. A Spanish interpreter assisted Mr. Rivera, a native of Mexico, during the hearing.

        Butler County Coroner Dr. Richard Burkhardt has ruled that Ms. Roark, 38, of Hamilton, bled to death.

        The stabbing occurred July 15 in Hamilton.

        Hamilton police stopped Mr. Rivera at 8 a.m. that day when they saw blood inside his van. He had blood on his hands, shirt, pants and boots, and what appeared to be human hair on one of his boots, Detective Rogers said.

        “He told me he had killed a baby cat,” he said.

        Police initially arrested Mr. Rivera because he had no driver's license, he said.

        After further questioning, Detective Rogers said, Mr. Rivera admitted he was lying.

        Detective Rogers said a Spanish interpreter read Mr. Rivera his Miranda rights and then police videotaped an interview in which the suspect confessed.

        Mr. Rivera said he picked up Ms. Roark in his van at Seventh and Ludlow streets to give her a ride, Detective Rogers said.

        After killing her, he dumped her body behind a bin at Seventh and Pershing streets, Detective Rogers said. Police found the body about two hours after stopping Mr. Rivera in his van.

        Ms. Roark had a history of arrests, including for prostitution.


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