EDGEWOOD, NM (KRQE) – It’s a strange animal cruelty case, the likes of which Torrance County Sheriff Heath White hasn’t seen before. Warning some may find the content of this story disturbing.
“It is extremely disturbing to know that someone would be that brutal with a family animal,” White said.
It happened last Friday when Torrance County deputies were called out to an Edgewood home.
“We received a welfare check at the residence, referenced some weird behavior,” White said.
A woman there told deputies her boyfriend, Salvador Martinez, 46, had killed the family dog, a 9-month-old black and white chiweenie named Onyx.
Deputies found the dog’s carcass in the freezer.
According to a criminal complaint, Martinez freely admitted to deputies he had killed Onyx, explaining that the couple didn’t have enough food for themselves and the grandchildren. His girlfriend later told investigators there was plenty of food in the house.
Martinez explained that he had taken Onyx into the backyard, stabbed him in the heart with a screwdriver, skinned him and then placed the body in the freezer.
Deputies say Martinez told them he then went online to look up dog meat recipes and whether it was legal to eat dogs in New Mexico.
According to a criminal complaint, when the girlfriend discovered the slaughtered dog the next day and confronted Martinez she says Martinez told her that if she didn’t like it he would take it over to his mother’s house for a barbecue.
White says while it’s legal to eat dogs in New Mexico, the way in which Martinez says he killed Onyx is absolutely illegal.
Martinez was arrested and is being charged with extreme animal cruelty, a fourth degree felony, as well as child abuse.
“The kids were present inside the residence and had full knowledge of what was taking place with their family pet,” White said.
Martinez could be in bigger trouble than his state charges would indicate. Both a US Marshal’s spokesperson and the Torrance County Detention Center indicate Martinez is now in federal custody.
According to federal court documents, Martinez was arrested in late 2003 after he was caught driving across the border with nearly 13 kilos of cocaine. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for that crime after pleading guilty and his most recent charges would appear to represent a probation violation.