On january 28, 1999, police have identified skeletal remains found more than three years ago as those of one of four missing women linked to Martin Gonzalez, a man they suspect is a serial killer. Gonzalez, 46, of Austin, has been in the Travis County Jail since November, charged with kidnapping Olivia Perez Estrada of Austin, who has been missing since October. 29, 1998.
The remains, found in a vacant lot in East Austin in September 1995, are those of Sylvia Victoria Garcia Gonzalez, the wife of Martin Gonzalez Three other women linked to Gonzalez are still missing. Police said they believe he may also be responsible for the disappearances of other people. "We have several people we're looking for, but we're not real sure of their status," said Detective Robert Merrill, of the Austin Police Department. "We believe he is a serial killer."
Authorities identified the remains by comparing DNA from the body with dried saliva found on flaps of letters Sylvia Gonzalez sent to her family in Mexico, Merrill said. Sylvia Gonzalez, who was 45, died from being bludgeoned in the head, Merrill said. Police have not charged Gonzalez in his wife's death.
The other missing women linked to Martin Gonzalez are Erica S. Perez, a woman in her 30s whom police listed as missing in December, and Maria Gladys Flores, 53, who was reported missing by Gonzalez in May. All missing women dated Gonzalez at some point, police said. Curiously, Gonzalez has denied knowing either his wife or Flores.
The search for the women began Oct. 29, after Estrada's relatives received a phone call warning them to check on her. The caller also said Estrada was last seen with a man named Martin. Police found blood in the hallway of Estrada's house and in the back seat of her car. Her ring, found in the driveway of the home at 2700 block of Webberville Road, also had blood on it.
Before he was arrested, Gonzalez told police he was last at Estrada's house Oct. 27 but left after another man arrived and began fighting with him. Police discounted the story, saying the man Gonzalez identified had been in jail at the time.
Soon after Gonzalez was arrested, police discovered he had reported Flores missing last May. Officers said Flores had lived with Gonzalez briefly. In December investigators became concerned about the whereabouts of Gonzalez's wife and Erica Perez, who worked with him on a number of temporary jobs.