Never educated and had no spoken or sign language. Somehow left El Salvador and ended up in 2004 living with relatives in James City County, VA, where he got occasional work as a day laborer. In January 2005, 16-year-old Brittany Binger (hearing) was found raped and murdered; a variety of evidence, including bloodhound tracking, surveillance cameras and DNA matching, eventually led to Martinez's arrest weeks later for the murder. However, he could not be tried because of "linguistic incompetency" and remained locked up in legal limbo pending the possibility of being taught to communicate, in a case very similar to that of Donald Lang (q.v.).
Washington Post, Aug. 2, 2005, p.C1