Gwinnett County

16-year-old found dead behind Gwinnett County home identified, suspect arrested

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The 16-year-old found dead in the backyard of a Lawrenceville home yesterday has been identified and a suspect has been arrested.

Gwinnett police say the victim is Jose Daniel Martinez.

At 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, Martinez’s family called 911 to report him as a missing person.

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Officers were notified that Martinez’s last known location was 651 Paden Mill Trail.

Officers responded to that address and located Martinez dead from a gunshot wound.

Channel 2 Action News was live at the scene on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Homicide detectives canvassed the area and were able to develop leads that lead to the arrest of Dennis Calzadilla, 20, of Lilburn in connection to Martinez’s death.


Calzadilla has been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

Detectives are still investigating the motive behind the killing.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in Gwinnett County Thursday, where Martinez is one of several Hispanic teens killed in Gwinnett County just in the last month. A group planned to meet next Thursday night to address concerns in community about teens’ safety.

Police said false information is spreading on social media and they want to clear things up face-to-face.

Tannia Zarate is the co-founder of the Hispanic United Alliance in Gwinnett County. She said it’s been one tragedy after another in her community over the last four weeks. Five teens have died from murders or overdoses and most were Hispanic.

“Everybody is frustrated and angry and upset, you know?” Zarate said. “Every day it seems like another death, so we ask for prayer in our community because we need it.”

Zarate said many Hispanic families are frustrated because there’s a language barrier and lack of trust with police.

Police are hosting a town hall at a Hispanic church next week to give families an opportunity to ask questions directly to Spanish-speaking officers. Although police can’t answer specific questions about ongoing cases, the can clear up some confusion and hopefully build some trust.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Gwinnett Police.

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