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September 23, 2014

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Relatives of mother, daughter killed in brutal attack reflect on the family’s shattered dreams

Multiple Death Investigation

Shown is the memorial on April 25, 2012 that has been made for the mother and daughter found dead inside their home on Robin Street near Washington Avenue. On April 16, 2012, officers responded to the house when a boy, 9, went to school and told staff that his mother and sister were dead at home. Launch slideshow »
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Bryan Clay, 22, was taken into custody Friday by Metro Police and faces charges in connection with a double-homicide of a mother and daughter in their Robin Street home, April 27, 2012.

Relatives of the young girl and her mother who were bludgeoned to death April 15 have released a stirring letter to the community, sharing the family’s love story and their hopes for living the American dream, and expressing deep concerns for the father and husband, who was left for dead in the attack.

The two-page letter from Bruno and Gaudia Martinez-Sanchez, the brother and sister of family patriarch Arturo Martinez-Sanchez, expresses their anxiety over his recovery and the long road ahead for him and his two sons.

Arturo Martinez-Sanchez was severely beaten in the attack that took the lives of his wife, Yadira, and 10-year-old daughter, Karla, whom he called his queen and princess. According to the Metro Police arrest report, evidence indicates mother and daughter were sexually assaulted.

The next morning, the couple’s 9-year-old son went to school and told the staff that his mother and sister were dead. At the house, police found the bodies of the mother and daughter as well as the gravely injured father, who also was attacked on the head, and the youngest child, a 4-year-old boy, who was not physically injured.

“Now, their America Dream has been snatched away from them, soiled, stained, by this outrageous act,” Arthur Martinez-Sanchez’s siblings wrote. “After they came back home from a gathering and while they were resting in their modest home, Queen and Princess were brutally murdered, and their Champion, Art, left devastated, with a destroyed family, and severely injured, struggling between life and death, perhaps with severe consequences, and with a harsh future to come.”

Metro Police on Friday arrested 22-year-old Bryan Clay, accusing him of the double homicide, attempted murder and sexual assault. Police said he is also a suspect in the April 15 sexual assault of a 50-year-old woman not far from the Martinez-Sanchez family home. Police said DNA evidence linked the two cases.

The relatives’ letter laments the tragedy, calling it an “evil, terrible atrocity,” which has destroyed the young family.

“Art and his sons will never recover from this act of hatred and of what has been taken away from them,” Gaudia and Bruno Martinez-Sanchez wrote.

But mostly, the letter reflects on the couple’s hard but love-filled life and love for their children. Relatives said Art and Yadira met as law students in Mexico, but family circumstances forced them to leave school.

The couple moved first to Los Angeles and shortly thereafter to Las Vegas, where she worked at fast food restaurants and he found a job as an electrician apprentice, relatives said.

Yadira, who went by the nickname Yady, “was a striving woman, hard worker, and of good principles who instilled into her children the love for God and respect for others,” the letter said. “She was a stay-at-home mother dedicated to the care and education of her little angels and caring for her husband; and in her spare time she sold perfumes to help her and him with the financial situation of the household.”

Of Arthur, his siblings wrote: “Art always has been outstanding, excellent and a hard worker in every job he has held. He has gotten promotions, recognized for his great responsibility, and welcomed into the electrician brotherhood, truthful co-workers day by day at the Electrician Union of the State of Nevada.”

Together, the couple enrolled the older two children “in gymnastics, karate, boxing, athletics, etc.; always looking to have them involved in extracurricular activities to help them become good, honorable, and successful people. That’s their way of thinking; they lived a true American life, the eagle that was added to their American life.”

The letter described the youngest child as “playful, bold, perspicacious, and loving.”

With money from savings, they decided to open a gym, where Art worked as a trainer in the evenings, relatives said. All the while, the couple “kept their promise of sending money to their families” in Mexico, Art’s siblings wrote.

Donations to help the family are being accepted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357, 808 N. Lamb Blvd. in Las Vegas. The nonprofit Construction Industry Workers Charitable Foundation also is accepting donations directly for the Martinez family. Checks can be mailed to the foundation at 7030 Smoke Ranch Road, Las Vegas, NV, 89128, with the name Arturo Martinez in the subject line.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story was based on an official report that provided an incomplete listing of Arturo Martinez-Sanchez’s name. The story was updated April 12, 2013, to include Martinez-Sanchez’s full name.

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  1. Crimes like this deserve nothing less than an eye for an eye. What in the world is wrong with the man they caught? Keeping him in a cell with gauranteed meals and undeserved activities will do nothing to help the attacker or the victims. My heart goes out to Mr. Martinez, I don't know how you can live after experiencing something like that. I can't imagine what he and his son had to see that night that will never be erased from their minds or their hearts.

  2. Having been on the victim side of an attempted murder, I can say, with the utmost confidence, that justice delayed is justice completely denied. While the authorities to do everything "by the book," it will mean delay, delay, and more delay... even if Clay is eventually sent to death row, there's a very good chance he'll probably die of old age. The wheels of Justice turn very, very slowly. I'm glad the authorities have their man, but I feel very bad for the family of the victims; they will never receive true justice.

  3. I've received updated information from the Martinez family about where to send donations:

    Checks should be made out to "Construction Industry Workers Charitable Foundation." A memo line should read, "For the benefit of Arturo Martinez." Those checks or cash donations can be sent to:
    Bank of Nevada
    2700 W. Sahara Avenue
    Las Vegas, NV 89102

    Cash donations also will be accepted at:
    IBEW Local 357
    808 N. Lamb Boulevard
    Las Vegas, NV 89110