Deborah Martin is a woman who is accused of stabbing her parents to death at their home in Arlington Heights, Illinois, police say. Martin was charged with two counts of first-degree murder after 71-year-old Anne Martin and 72-year-old David Martin were found dead Saturday morning.
Arlington Heights Police said in a press release that 43-year-old Deborah Jane Martin lived with her parents at the South Derbyshire Lane home. She was arrested at the scene after police responded to a 911 call at the home about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, police said in the statement.
“It’s hard to determine what persuaded Deborah to take action against her parents at that particular time,” Arlington Heights Police Commander Joseph Pinnello told the Chicago Tribune. “We have multiple scenes. … It covered a wide area of the house.”
Prosecutors said in court Monday that Deborah Martin had attended dinner with her parents at a neighbor’s house earlier in the night. She left before her parents and then attacked them with a knife when they came home, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said investigators found journal entries written by Deborah Martin, including in recent days, in which she talked about harming her parents. “The journal excerpts included multiple entries including her intent to kill her parents, one as recent as June 2, 2019 – just days before this horrific murder,” Prosecutor Lorna Amado-Chevlin said in court, according to WLS-TV.
Police say they found a receipt for a knife purchased on May 10 and believe it was the one used in the killings.
Here’s what you need to know about Deborah Martin and the homicide investigation:
1. Deborah Martin’s Mother Could Be Heard on the 911 Call Pleading ‘No Debbie,’ Gasping for Air & Moaning, Prosecutors Say
Arlington Heights Police say they responded to 3 South Derbyshire Lane for a welfare check about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, after receiving a 911 call, according to a press release. The caller did not say anything “discernible” during the call and officers were dispatched.
At a court hearing on Monday, prosecutors detailed the chilling 911 call made by the victims before they were killed. “The 911 audio captures the defendant’s mother gasping for air and moaning. Within seconds of dispatch answering, sounds of movement are heard followed by the mother of the defendant gasping and pleading, ‘No Debbie,'” Lorna Amado-Chevlin, a prosecutor in the Cook County States Attorney’s Office, said in court, WLS-TV reports.
“Her dying gasps and moans are heard throughout the duration of the call,” Amado-Chevlin said in court.
The officers arrived and saw an unresponsive woman, who had suffered from obvious signs of violence, on the kitchen floor of the home. The officers then forced entry into the home.
A second victim was also found on the floor. “Initial assessment by investigating officers found two individuals who suffered traumatic injuries and were without any sign of life,” police said. The victims, later identified as Anne and David Martin, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, “Arlington Heights Fire Department paramedics were called to the scene. Paramedics determined the victims were beyond medical attention. The scene was secured by police.”
Prosecutors said Anne Martin was stabbed seven times and died while trying to crawl out of the house after calling 911. David Martin was attacked in a recliner and had his throat slashed, prosecutors said. He also tried to get out of the house before collapsing. He was also stabbed times in the chest three times and in the left bicep.
“While attending to the victims, officers were confronted by a female who was descending the second floor stairs. The person was detained and identified as the victims’ daughter. She was later transported to the police station for investigation,” police said. She was later identified as Deborah Jane Martin.
Prosecutors said Deborah Martin had wet hair, “consistent with someone having just showered.”
The Martins were stabbed multiple times, police said. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office filed charges after an investigation on Sunday.
“The Arlington Heights Police Department (AHPD) and the Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) Forensic Technicians processed the crime scene. AHPD Detectives conducted a multitude of interviews, reviewed dispatch audio and physical evidence, all in an effort to seek criminal charges against the person of interest,” police said. “The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted examinations on both victims and determined cause and manner of death. Cause of death of Anne Martin was due to multiple sharp force injuries and cause of death for David Martin was due to multiple stab wounds. The case facts were presented to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Felony charges have been approved.”
2. Anne Martin Worked as Teacher in the Local School District for More Than 20 Years & David Martin Was a Navy Veteran Who Was Retired From Motorola
Anne Martin was a longtime local school teacher, according to WLS-TV. School District 214 told the news station that Martin was an English Learner and Social Science teacher at Wheeling High School from 1995 to 2004 and continued to work as a substitute teacher in the district as recently as this past school year. She previously worked at Prospect High School from 1988 to 1992 as a resource assistant. She attended the University of Illinois at Chicago.
David Martin was retired after working more than 15 years at Motorola, with his final job being as a software quality manager, according to his Linkedin profile. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1973 aboard the USS John W. Thomason DD760, USS Worden DLG18, & USS Great Sitkin AE17, including during the Vietnam War. He was an electronics technician. He studied at Lake City Junior College, Harper College, Roosevelt University and Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
According to WLS-TV, the Martins had two adopted children, three step-grandchildren and a grandchild. David Martin wrote on Facebook that after his retirement he became a “Grandpa, Dad & Friend.” He wrote, “Helping out family and friends. learning to play the guitar. Got certified to provide first aid to the mentally ill.”
3. Deborah Martin Is Divorced & Previously Lived in Wonder Lake, Illinois, & in Wiscosnin
Deborah Martin is divorced, according to her Facebook page. She wrote on Facebook in 2015, “Hi everybody! It’s been awhile since I was online. Now pending a divorce from my husband I can use facebook again.”
Deborah Martin has previously lived in Wonder Lake, Illinois, as well as in Wisconsin. She worked as a leasing consultant at a company in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and as a cashier at Macy’s. It was not immediately clear if she was currently employed.
Few other details about her were immediately available.
4. Police Say They Had Been Called to Arlington Heights Home ‘More Than a Couple’ Times Over the Years Because of a ‘Family Situation’
Deborah Martin does not appear to have a prior criminal record in Illinois or Wisconsin. A motive for the alleged killings was not immediately released by police.
Arlington Heights Police told WLS-TV that officers had been called to the South Derbyshire Lane home “more than a couple” times over “several years” because of a “family situation” involving Deborah Martin. She had been living with her parents off and on for many years, according to the police department.
“We took her into custody due to the circumstances of the scene and she complied with what officers commanded her to do,” Police Commander Joseph Pinnello told the Chicago Tribune. “We have dealt with the family over several years in the past but there was no reported violence.”
5. Martin Made Her First Appearance in Cook County Court on Monday
Arlington Heights Police said that Deborah Martin was scheduled to appear in Cook County Court on Monday, June 10, for a bond hearing. She has been held in police custody since she was detained at her parents’ home on Saturday.
Martin faces up to life in prison if convicted. A judge ordered her to undergo mental health treatment and receive medications as necessary while in custody. She is scheduled to appear in court again on June 27.
It is not clear if Martin has hired an attorney who could speak on her behalf.
“The offender will be transported to the Cook County Third Municipal District Courthouse Monday afternoon, June 10, for an initial bond hearing,” police said in a statement. “Many dedicated professionals contributed to this investigation that identified incriminating evidence and ultimately secured criminal charges against the offender, the Arlington Heights Police Department first responders, detectives, forensic technicians along with guidance from supervisory and command staff, the Arlington Heights Fire Department, Major Crime Assistance Team (MCAT) and by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.”