ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If a loved one went missing and turned up dead, you’d probably want justice. One New Mexico mom is fighting that exact battle for her daughter right now.
“She was very friendly. She had a lot of friends. There’s a lot of people, after her passing, that were coming by, and I didn’t even know she had that many friends.”
Yasmin Marquez is being remembered for her love of makeup and contagious smile.
“If you were having a bad day, just her walking in and smiling at you would change that.”
Her mother, Ivonne Jaramillo, said Yasmin had big plans for the future, studying to be a nurse at CNM. Unfortunately, it was a career she never got to pursue.
The 20-year-old was found murdered in Sandoval County last summer, nearly two months after she was reported missing from the South Valley. Her ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Martinez, was arrested and charged for her murder.
“I tried calling her, and she would answer right away, but that day, she just didn’t answer,” Jaramillo said.
Her mother said she had recently returned home after living in Mexico with Martinez because of relationship problems. Investigators believe she left in her mother’s car to meet him that night. That car was found the next day, abandoned in Corrales, with the interior set on fire.
Investigators said cell phone records put Martinez at that spot and also at a location of 550 in the county where authorities later found her remains. “I was in shock because I still had, you know, I still wanted to find her, (but) not like that,” Jaramillo said.
More than a year after her death, Jaramillo said the pain hurts just the same. “A lot of people say it will get better with time. It doesn’t get better, you just learn how to live with the pain.”
Martinez, who at the time of the disappearance was also wanted by police for the murder of a 19-year-old man in Downtown Albuquerque, is still awaiting trial for Yasmin’s murder.
Jaramillo’s counting the days until someone can be held responsible. “All I want is justice for my daughter because he took something so beautiful.”
The man accused of driving Martinez from Mexico to Albuquerque took a plea deal last week. Titus Thomas pled no contest to charges of harboring a felon. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation.