In 2007, the bodies of Santana Monique Armijo, 21, and Michael Martinez, 28, were found just north of Interstate 10 and Verrado Way in a desert area (which has since been developed) in Buckeye.
“It is believed the two were killed somewhere else and dumped at that location,” said Donna Rossi of the Buckeye Police Department.
The killer or killers of the two have not been found.
Last week, the Buckeye Police Department, in conjunction with Silent Witness, offered a $26,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the double homicide.
Rossi said Buckeye detectives began a review of the cold case in January 2019.
This summer, Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall created a Major Crimes Unit, bringing in two experienced homicide investigators.
The Major Crime Unit was tasked with re-examining unsolved homicides, including the Martinez/Armijo murders.
“The worst crime a human can commit is taking another human’s life. My goal is to bring closure to the families of these victims,” Hall said.
Hall authorized the expenditure of $25,000 seized through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to be added to the $1,000 being offered by Silent Witness in this case.
“This is the largest award Buckeye has offered,” Hall said.
“Michael was a father, a brother and a son and Santana was a mother, a daughter and a sister. The families want answers. We want answers,” the Buckeye chief said.
“Someone knows exactly what happened to Michael and Santana. We need them to come forward.”
At the time she was killed, Armijo lived in Tolleson with two children, one 3 years old and the other 11 months old.
Family members were present at a news conference to announce the reward.
“I’m praying. Any little thing can be so helpful,” said Tina Armijo, Santana’s mother, wiping away tears.
“I am begging you as a mother. Please call. ... Don’t let them harm another family.”
Information regarding this case can be submitted anonymously by calling Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS—or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish speakers—or online at silentwitness.org.