The family of a young woman stabbed to death while taking an evening jog in Washington, DC are struggling to make sense of what police are calling a random attack.
Wendy K Martinez had just become engaged last week, according to her family. She was jogging close to her home in the Logan Circle area of the city when she was stabbed.
Distressing footage showed her running into a takeaway shop moments after the attack at around 8pm on Tuesday night. Patrons at the carry-out tried to help but were unable to save her.
In a statement, her family praised her as 'the light of our lives' and a 'devout Christian'.
'Wendy Karina Martinez was the light of our lives. Not only was she an avid runner, but she was a devout Christian, a wonderful friend, and a driven professional. Everything you hope that a daughter and a friend could be. She was also excited to be planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Daniel Hincapie. They were engaged just last week,' the statement read.
The 35-year-old was chief of staff at the DC-based technology and management company, Fiscal Note, which expressed its shock over her death on Twitter.
'The entire FiscalNote family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Wendy Martinez, our Chief of Staff, was killed last night,' the company said. 'Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy's family and friends.'
The entire FiscalNote family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Wendy Martinez, our Chief of Staff, was killed last night. Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy’s family and friends.— FiscalNote (@FiscalNote) September 19, 2018
A picture posted to the Fiscal Note Twitter page last month showed Martinez and other staff volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen, which provides meals for homeless shelters. The caption posted with the photo was a quote from Martinez on the importance of supporting the local community.
"Supporting the family is a value that extends beyond the @FiscalNote, it means supporting the community in which we live in and are headquartered. Happy to have volunteered today at @dcck " Wendy Martinez, Chief of Staff pic.twitter.com/il5zV9myzS— FiscalNote (@FiscalNote) August 16, 2018
A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest as the suspect remains at large. Police are looking for a man in a yellow shirt seen close to the scene in video footage.
According to local news channel Fox 5, authorities believe it was a random attack and that Martinez was not known to the suspect.
DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said the attack was 'very disturbing'.
'You have a young woman out here exercising... in a very safe neighborhood,' he said. 'You have a lot of people out here, who are enjoying dinner across the street. It's unsettling.'