Westchester County man charged in 1999 murder of 13-year-old girl

A Westchester County man has been nabbed in the 1999 murder of a Bronx teen — putting the 22-year-old cold case to rest, police sources told The Post.

Joseph Martinez, 69, of New Rochelle, was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree murder in the February 1999 slaying of 13-year-old Minerliz Soriano.

The girl’s body was bound and stuffed into a plastic bag, then tossed into a garbage dumpster at 2087 Bartle Avenue, the sources said.

Joseph Martinez of New Rochelle was charged with the 1999 murder of Minerliz Soriano.

The young victim was walking home from IS 135 on Wallace Avenue around 2:20 p.m. on Feb. 24, 1999, when she disappeared.

Her body was found four days later when investigators determine she had been strangled and thrown into the dumpster at Co-op City.

Minerliz's father Luis Soriano at her funeral in Brooklyn.
Minerliz’s father Luis Soriano at her funeral in Brooklyn.
New York Post/Jim Alcorn

The girl’s vicious slaying remained a cold case until detectives used DNA evidence to link her disappearance to Martinez, who lived in the same building as her family, sources said.

Additional reporting by Larry Celona