Man arrested for 1987 murder of elderly neighbor

HOUSTON - Harris County authorities said an elderly man has been charged for murdering his neighbor back in November 1987.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office's Cold Case Unit announced Tuesday that Roman Martinez, 71, is charged with capital murder for the death of his neighbor, 68-year-old Jacqueline Anderson.

Investigators said on the evening of November 11, 1987, Anderson was found bound and strangled inside her north Harris County home. Anderson's husband had recently died and she was living alone at 202 West Hambrick Road.

The case was first investigated by the Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Division, but after a year, leads were exhausted and the case went unsolved.

The sheriff's office's Cold Case Unit reopened the case in 2012. Detectives established Anderson's neighbor and parolee from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Roman Martinez, as their primary suspect.

According to cold case investigators, Martinez was located and interviewed. He confessed to having broken in to Anderson's home, and admitted that while committing the burglary, Anderson arrived home and walked in on him. Martinez told police that he stole money out of the Anderson's purse during the burglary. He also admitted to having physical contact with the victim, but said that she was alive when he left the home.

Investigators said Martinez moved out of the neighborhood after the murder. Less than three months later, authorities said he was arrested in Waco, Texas for a burglary and drug possession. In September of 1989, Martinez was arrested in Harris County for breaking in to the home of a 51-year-old woman, located less than one mile from where Anderson lived.

Officials said Martinez has a lengthy criminal history that extends back to the 1950's. His record includes convictions for numerous burglaries, thefts, drug possession, aggravated robbery and rape by force. Martinez is a registered sex offender out of El Paso and on parole for a Harris County burglary until 2029.

Amanda Perez will have more on this cold case investigation on Local 2 News at 5.

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