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'Somebody needs to pay for what happened to her' | Victim's family still looking for answers to unsolved homicide

Mary Cervantez was shot and killed on Austin Street near LaGrange in north Toledo in 2019, and her death remains unsolved.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The events of Oct. 29, 2019, still haunt Angie Martinez. She had been watching the news that night and heard a body had been found on Austin Street near LaGrange Street in north Toledo.

"It was first the news story, that there was an unknown person. And then, as the news story got updated, then I realized who the name was because she's named after my mother, and I was in complete shock," described Martinez.

The victim was 37-year old Mary Cervantez, Angie's cousin, and she had been shot to death.

"I'm like, 'who would do this to my cousin?' and she was sweet, caring," said Martinez. "I mean she did have a hard life, but that doesn't mean somebody should go kill somebody for that."

Mary and Angie didn't see each other often and instead communicated over social media. In their last text exchanges, Mary made it clear she wanted to escape the life she had fallen into.

"I do know she had a hard life and she wanted to get out of doing drugs and prostitution," Martinez explained. "I gave her information about the D.A.R.T. program and that was the last I had heard from her."

But before anything could be done to help her, Mary was killed. 

The police investigation immediately following Mary's murder found no suspects and no resolution for the family.

"You know, I think of her often, and it pains me that no one has come forward. I try to do everything to help everybody, and it seems no one is there to help her. It needs to be solved," Martinez said, with tears in her eyes.

Martinez says she keeps in regular contact with the detective tied to the case, and claims he told her there have been recent developments, but there still isn't enough to convict.

"A witness has came forward, gave some information about a person, and they thought it was a great lead, and ended up getting a warrant to check the cellphone towers in the area. Unfortunately, the cell phone did not ping in that area, and they do not have enough evidence," said Martinez. "Somebody needs to pay for what happened to her."

A representative with the Toledo Police Department tells WTOL 11 there is no further update in the investigation.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111. You can remain anonymous.



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