An Española man who had been reported missing in January, was found dead March 16 on 31 Mile Road.
Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Cpl. Joseph Cannon was dispatched to the area in response to a call regarding an unattended death. When he arrived, he found the body of a man with obvious signs of decomposition. The man was later identified as Charles Edward Martinez, 58, of Española.
Jeffrey Lyon, 19, of Velarde, was at the site and said he and a friend had been antler hunting, when they discovered the body.
“Mr. Lyon approached the body, and he believed the decedent may have been a family friend,” Cannon wrote in his report.
Lyon told Cannon that a man had been reported missing in January. At that time, a Jeep was found approximately 1.3 miles from where the body had been located.
“When asked, Mr. Lyon stated that he was fairly certain that he knew the decedent,” Cannon wrote.
Cannon and Deputy Bill Smith took photographs of the body and did not observe trauma or foul play. They discovered Martinez’s body was frozen. He also had a keychain in the pocket of his gray sweatpants. The keychain had a Jeep key, a Chevrolet key, a key fob and a blue boxing glove.
Chris Martinez with the Office of the Medical Investigator arrived on scene at 1:35 p.m. and the time of death was declared at 1:42 p.m.
On March 17, Sheriff James Lujan spoke with Charles Martinez’s family and they recognized the keychain through a photo. Lujan reviewed the photos taken on 31 Mile Road and Charles Martinez was properly identified.
The Española Police Department asked for the public’s help in locating Charles Martinez, when he went missing in January. He was described as 5’11” tall, weighing 265 pounds, with brown/gray hair and brown eyes.
According to the missing endangered advisory released by the Department of Public Safety, Charles Martinez was last seen on Jan. 18, wearing a light-colored T-shirt and gray pants. He left his residence in a white 2008 Jeep Wrangler and was believed to be headed for 31 Mile Road.