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Suspect in death of woman scheduled to testify in Kelsie Schelling murder trial turns himself in

Roxann Martinez, 31, was a witness in the trial against Donthe Lucas, who is accused of murdering Schelling in 2013. DPD said they don't think there is a connection.

DENVER — A woman found dead in Denver's Hampden South neighborhood on Feb. 25 was scheduled to testify in the murder trial of Kelsie Schelling, the Pueblo County District Attorney's Office confirmed Wednesday. On Thursday, police named a suspect in her killing.

Denver Police (DPD) said they are investigating the death of Roxann Martinez, 31, after she was found in the area of East Kenyon Drive and South Wabash Street. The coroner's office later said she died of a gunshot wound and ruled her death a homicide. 

A DPD spokesperson said investigators are aware of her connection to that trial, but at this time do not think her death is connected to that case

DPD identified the suspect in Martinez's killing as 29-year-old Emmanuel Chandler. Police said Chandler turned himself in late Thursday. He's being held on suspicion of first-degree murder. Police said it appears to be the result of a domestic violence-related incident. 

Anyone who might have information about the case is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

Credit: Denver Police Department
Emmanuel Chandler

RELATED: Woman found dead in Hampden South neighborhood identified

The Pueblo County DA's Office said Martinez was an "endorsed witness" in the trial against Donthe Lucas, who is charged with first-degree murder following Schelling's 2013 disappearance the day after she sent Lucas a photo of her eight-week ultrasound. Schelling's body has never been found, and she was presumed dead.

The Pueblo DA's Office also said Martinez "had not testified" at the time of her death.

Credit: Metro Denver Crime Stoppers
Roxann Martinez

Jury selection in the Schelling murder trial began on Jan. 25, and the trial began on Feb. 3 with opening statements, and was originally scheduled to continue through March 1. Lucas' trial was delayed two weeks on Feb. 10 due to a COVID case, KRDO reported. Testimony in the trial has since continued, KRDO reported.

RELATED: Kelsie Schelling murder trial delayed 2 weeks due to COVID case

Lucas pleaded not guilty to Schelling's murder in August 2018. His trial date was previously scheduled several times and then postponed.

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers  

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers are notified at the conclusion of the investigation. 

From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted. 

More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here. 

> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here. 

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