Crime & Courts

Police: DNA links suspect to 2011 killing

A Charlotte man has been charged with murder after police say DNA evidence linked him to an attempted robbery on Tuckaseegee Road in 2011 that left a shopkeeper dead.

Hugo Alberto Martinez, 31, is charged with murder, robbery and conspiracy in connection with the July 5, 2011 killing of Wuilson Helvan Reyes Murillo.

Reyes, 42, was shot about 9 p.m. at the La Acapulquena grocery store after police say he was involved in an altercation with two would-be robbers.

Police said the store tended to have significant amounts of cash on hand, because some customers wire home money.

In 2011, a witness told the Observer she saw two men struggling on the sidewalk outside the grocery store. One man pulled a gun from behind his back and shot Murilla, she said. She said the shooter was Hispanic, medium-build and wearing a peach-colored, checkered shirt with a collar.

Still, police had not made an arrest for more than three years.

On August 5, police say a DNA profile collected at the scene matched Martinez, who was being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail on heroin trafficking charges.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and encourage anyone with information to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.