Family of Sunnyside Murder Victim Says He Was a Good Family Man - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Family of Sunnyside Murder Victim Says He Was a Good Family Man

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash.--A couple suspected in the murder of a 23-year-old Sunnyside man faced the judge Monday. The man's body was found in the trunk of a car last Friday.

The devastated family of 23-year-old Alberto Gabriel Martinez walked out of a Yakima County Courtroom after seeing the two people accused of murdering their loved one.

"I'm just thinking about the way my brother-in-law died," said the sister-in-law of Martinez. "It's just so painful to know how they took his life away and that's all I can think of."

Yakima County Sheriff's Deputies said Martinez was found dead in the trunk of a car off Highway 97 near Toppenish.

According to court documents, cell phone records led deputies to Guillermina Sanchez-Cardenas who apparently was the last person to talk and see the victim Thursday night. Court records show that Martinez was concerned his meeting with Sanchez-Cardenas was a set up but he made the drive anyway.  Sanchez-Cardenas told deputies her boyfriend, 22-year-old Elliot White, was "angry" when he found out the two were talking.

Sanchez-Cardenas has denied any involvement in the death of the young father. However that night, a police officer found White and Sanchez-Cardenas walking along the roadway near the crime scene.

"A Yakama Nation Tribal Police Officer went to the area in response to that call and found them walking on the road and transported them to a residence," said Chief Stewart Graham with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.

The couple sits in jail facing charges of second degree murder as a family sits and waits for justice.

"They left three kids without a father, my sister without a husband, and it's very hurtful."

White also faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and eluding after leading police on a chase right before his arrest.

Their bail is set at $1 million each.