They died together after allegedly being stabbed in their Gwinnett County home. This week, the father and four children will be honored together with one funeral.
Visitation will be held Wednesday for the victims — Martin Romero, 33, and four siblings, including 1-year-old Axel, 4-year-old Dillan, 7-year-old Dacota and 10-year-old Isabela Martinez — from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Byrd and Flanigan Crematory & Funeral Service in Lawrenceville. The youngest child would have turned 2 later this month.
A funeral mass will then be held Thursday at 7:30 pm at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, also in Lawrenceville.
Investigators believe Isabel Martinez, 33, stabbed her husband and four of their children to death early last Thursday morning inside their Loganville mobile home. A fifth child, 9-year-old Diana Romero, was also stabbed but survived.
In a bizarre first court appearance Friday, Martinez was adamant that she didn’t want an attorney.
“I don’t need an attorney,” Martinez said through an interpreter. “My attorney is the people that we are fighting for…It does not matter what color you are because God loves us all.”
But she was appointed a lawyer anyway.
Attorney Robert Greenwald is representing Martinez, who is charged with five counts of malice murder, five counts of murder and six counts of aggravated assault.
Greenwald said Monday that he plans to request Martinez undergo a mental health evaluation.
During Friday’s hearing in Gwinnett County court, Judge Michael Thorpe warned Martinez to stop her erratic behavior, which included smiling and flashing two thumbs up for television cameras. She remained Monday in the Gwinnett jail, where she was being held without bond. Her next court date is scheduled for July 20.
Immigration officials said Friday that Martinez illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico. But because it was her first encounter with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it was unknown how long she has been in the country, according to Bryan Cox, a spokesman for the agency. Martinez told police her husband was also in the U.S. illegally, Cox said.
Two separate GoFundMe pages have raised nearly $40,000 for funeral costs and medical bills for Diana, the online fundraising pages show. Diana was also stabbed and flown by helicopter to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she underwent emergency surgery. She is expected to survive, though her family has said she will remain in the hospital for several weeks.
“Thank you all for your continued support and donations,” a message posted online Sunday said. “Diana will have a hard and long road ahead of her but she will make it through. We are a strong and loving family who stand by each other and support one another.”
Interment for the father and four children who died will be held at a later date in Michoacan, Mexico, according to an online obituary.