Death of mother, infant daughter found at Waco-area lake stuns friend

Valarie and Azariah-Martinez. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Krupicka)
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WACO, Texas News of the shooting deaths of a woman and her infant daughter stunned a close friend who was the infant’s godmother.

Valarie Martinez, 24, and her 1-year-old daughter, Azariah, were found dead at around noon Sunday near Trading House Creek Reservoir east of Waco.

The infant was inside Martinez’s car, still strapped in her safety seat.

Martinez’s body was about 20 feet from the car.

“I just can’t believe this. Valarie was such a happy person and could make anyone in a room smile and feel good, and Azariah was always smiling. How could someone do that, especially to that precious little baby?” Jessica Krupicka said Monday.

Krupicka said she and Martinez grew up together and were like sisters.

Martinez worked at Sanderson Farms, Krupicka said.

“It just makes you sick when you see something like this happen and especially a little 1-year-old child shot down in cold blood,” McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Monday.

“We have some persons of interest that we’re looking at we have not made any arrest yet we’re not going to let up and we will solve this I believe very soon,” he said.

A vigil is scheduled at 6 p.m. Sunday at TP&L Park 3 at the lake where the victims’ bodies were found.