Homicide Update

Suspect Arrested

On 01-27-20 at approximately 6:27 p.m., the Escondido Communications Center received a call of a stabbing at the Burger King in the 1300 block of W. Valley Pkwy.  Officers arrived on scene minutes later and located a 32-year-old male with an apparent stab wound to the neck.  The victim was taken to Palomar Medical Center by Escondido Fire Paramedics where he later died from the stab wound.

During the course of the investigation, detectives identified the suspect as John Christopher Burns (47) of Escondido.  On 01-28-20, San Diego Sheriff deputies located Burns at Pala Casino after they had responded to the casino for an unrelated matter.  Burns was brought to the Escondido Police Department for processing and was later booked into the Vista Detention Center for murder.

The victim has been identified as Jose De Jesus Martinez (32) also from Escondido.  Both Martinez and Burns were known to be local transients.  Whether they were acquainted with one another before the stabbing is still being investigated.  There is some initial indication that there may have been a dispute over a bicycle just prior to the stabbing.  Who was involved in the dispute and what role, if any, that played into the stabbing is still being determined.

Anyone with information about the homicide is encouraged to call the police department or the anonymous number listed below.


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To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our “Anonymous Tip Line” at (760) 743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org.