Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) investigators have charged a man and woman with felony murder following the death of a toddler who was in their care on Sunday, Oct. 10, according to a press release. 

Detectives arrested Juan Martinez, 31, and Nancy Martinez, 32, both of Gainesville, early Monday morning, Oct. 11, at HCSO headquarters. In addition to the murder charge, each suspect is charged with one count of first-degree cruelty to children.

According to the preliminary investigation, between noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Juan and Nancy Martinez, who are married, caused traumatic brain injury and other internal injuries to the child’s body, resulting in her eventual death. The two-year-old victim, Valeria Jordon Garfias, was in the couple’s care at their residence in the 2,000 block of Bennett Circle while her parents were at work.

Hall County Fire Services transported the victim to Northeast Georgia Medical Center following the initial medical call about the victim at approximately 1:50 p.m. Sunday. The child was flown to a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Hospital where she later died. Hospital officials notified investigators because of the nature of the victim’s injuries.

Juan and Nancy Martinez were booked into the Hall County Jail following their arrests. Each is being held without bond.

The body has been sent to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy. The case remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.


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