Vanessa Martinez
October 21, 2011 - January 8, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial
What chance would you give a child, born with Cocaine and Meth amphetamine in their system? The chances would be fairly good, if that child never had to be with the people who were responsible for her condition in the first place. In our society, children are taken away from drug addicts and then given back to them without so much as a blink of an eye. Five days before Christmas, Vanessa was two months old and she and her mother were going to live together for the first time since she was born. Just three short months later, Vanessa's precious little body would be found in a shallow grave, no one had even reported her missing.

After she born with drugs in her system, Vanessa and her older sister were taken away by Child Protective Services and place in a foster home. Olivia Martinez, who was 20 years old at the time and Jonathan Kesterson, who was 26 at the time, both tested positive for enough Cocaine that it was obvious they were regular users of this drug. Both of these "parents" agreed to go to drug counseling as well as parenting classes and the couple would be allowed to visit the children two times a week.

Doctors were keeping an eye on Vanessa and no signs of withdrawal from the drugs, was ever noticed, though she did sleep a lot, was slow to respond and was very quiet. Vanessa was healthy and the visits were going well and at times she was said to be clingy with her parents, caseworkers said she and her sister Dominique, were bonding really well and that the family seemed to be loving and caring. This would not explain the warning signs which were also there.


CPS reports say that the couple had personal struggles. The couple had each grown up with alcoholic parents and Olivia had been forced to do Meth as a child, they both left New Mexico where they said the situation was bad. When the children were born, Jonathan signed their birth certificates, becoming their father, legally. The couple worked though at times, CPS says one or the other was the "breadwinner" of the family. During the next two months, they both passed their drug test and went to church and CPS reported that Jonathan was a hard worker who just wanted to be a father to his children and by December, CPS had been talking about getting the family back together. On December 20th, the children went to live with their parents and Johnathan asked that the case against them be closed, CPS agreed to close the case 30 days before they were supposed to:

"It is unfortunate that her CPS caseworker moved so fast that this writer was advised of services
ending without being able to have closure with this client"
Counselor - Arizona Families First - January report

By the time this report was made, Vanessa was already dead.

On April 12, Jonathan was arrested and though it was not related to the death of Vanessa, Sheriff's deputies found out he'd made comments about the death of Vanessa in January. Jonathan's story was that he went for a jog on January 8 and when he got home, the baby was dead. Olivia told Sheriffs that she was working at a night club the night before and Jonathan told her that Vanessa was having hard time breathing. When Olivia told the story again, she changed it and said that Jonathan had squeezed Vanessa's ribs very hard and also had beat on her because she was fussy and keeping him awake, she also stated this was NOT the first time he had beat on the baby.

Jonathan didn't change his story at all. Jonathan and Olivia told authorities that they did not report the death of Vanessa because they were afraid of losing their other daughter. The couple were arrested and facing charges of first degree murder, child abuse and concealing a body. Investigators were told that Vanessa was buried in a
shallow grave in the desert. Cadaver dogs would find her buried under two feed of dirt, under a Mesquite tree.

Jonathan would never make it to court since in July of 2012, he was found in his cell with a bed sheet wrapped around his neck, he was dead.

Christy and her husband Joey feel like they failed the girls:

"We felt like that was what we were supposed to do, is to help them and we didn't help"
Christy Martin

"They just tried to get the parents back with their kids and move on to the next kids
and hope it works out"
Joey Martin - Former Foster Parent For The Girls

A former Detective predicted that there would be more deaths as a result of what he called a "case closing spree"
by CPS:

"You're gonna come up with some issues down the road and if you don't investigate
it now, then you' investigate it later when it's at a serious injury, or a death"
Michael Orozco - Child Crimes Detective


In November of 2013 Olivia Paige Martinez, who was 22 years old at the time and having plead guilty to manslaughter, was sentenced to to 10 1/2  years in prison.

Death Occurred in the state of Arizona

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