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Keyes man arrested for October homicide
• Murder victim Martinez found along roadside Oct. 17

An arrest has been made in the murder of 26-year-old Keyes resident Joel Santos Martinez, whose body was found discarded on the side of the roadway of West Service Road on Oct. 17, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department reported. 

A special task force comprised of members of the Los Angeles Police Department helped to apprehend 21-year-old Jose Luis Ramirez in Southern California. The arrest was safely made on Nov.3, in Los Angeles. Ramirez lived in Keyes at the time of the homicide.  

“Through the course of our investigation, detectives identified Ramirez as a suspect and worked with LAPD counterparts to assist with making an arrest,” said sheriff spokesman Sgt. Luke Schwartz. 

Ramirez was extradited back to Stanislaus County on Tuesday. He was interviewed by detectives and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center for homicide.  

Ramirez had other outstanding, pending and non-related criminal charges associated with his alleged possession/cultivation of marijuana for sales, possession of a short-barrel shotgun or rifle, as well as a detainer for other out-of-state matters. The homicide charge is currently listed as no-bail while the District Attorney’s Office reviews for filing.  

“We will not yet be releasing cause, manner or other circumstances concerning Martinez’s death,” Schwartz said. “Our detectives ask for the community’s assistance as they continue to identify and interview other important witnesses.” 

Detective Fisher is taking lead and can be contacted by calling 209-525-7083. Callers can also choose to remain anonymous by submitting their tips to Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636.  Tipsters can also submit tips at or by using the mobile app “P3” which may result in your eligibility for a cash reward.