Leticia Martinez, 20, was found battered and bleeding early Monday morning after being dragged or hit by a vehicle. She died a short time later at a hospital.
One day after a young Alviso woman's body was discovered in the middle of the street outside a church, San Jose police are calling the death suspicious, but have not ruled it a homicide.
Police announced Tuesday they have a person of interest in the case. They said they want to talk to Jennifer Bautista of Sunnyvale. Bautista was involved in a romantic relationship with Martinez at some point and the two were seen arguing the morning the victim was found in the street.
Police say Martinez was somehow hit and possibly dragged two blocks north of the home by a vehicle. They say she may have hung on to the vehicle in an attempt to stop it from leaving.
The victim's family says they think her death should be considered a hate crime because Martinez was a lesbian. San Jose police say her there is no initial evidence hate motivated the crime. "Nothing shows this case is related to hate," officer Jermaine Thomas said.
Martinez had been threatened in the past, according to her uncle. "Because of the fact that my niece is lesbian and the fact that she's been threatened by her ex-girlfriend's brothers."
Her brother, Juan Martinez, was shocked by the death. He described his sister as always providing a laugh for the family and said she had a beautiful smile.
Martinez graduated from Wilcox High School and worked at a McDonald's in Cupertino.
San Jose investigators spent 12 hours in Alviso Monday looking for evidence in the case. On Tuesday they encouraged Bautista to come forward so they she can tell them what she knows about the moments before Martinez' body was found on the street.