October 6, 2004
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Michal Shanley, 534-6631 or pager
Grand Jury Indicts Edward Romeo for Murder of Racheal Ann Martina
A Polk County grand jury handed down an
indictment today (Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2004) charging Edward Romeo, DOB
2/1/78, with First Degree Murder in the homicide of Racheal Martina, who
was 16 years old when she first disappeared in 1999.
Romeo currently is housed in the Polk County Jail on murder charges for
shooting and killing his brother, Robert Romeo, in August of 2004.
He now will face an additional First Degree Murder charge for the
strangling death of Martina.
Martina, a troubled 16-year-old, disappeared from the Lakeland office of
DCF in March of 1999. Following the arrest of Romeo for the shooting
death of his brother in August of this year, witnesses came forward
indicating that Romeo had killed Martina and buried her body in the back
yard of the Romeo residence located on Lake Luther Road in North
Lakeland. During the investigation, detectives learned that Romeo had
taken a ligature and placed it around Martina's neck, strangling her to
Homicide detectives executed a search warrant at the Lake Luther Road
residence on Sept. 21, 2004, and the skeletal remains of Martina were
unearthed in the yard the fourth day of the search.