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Caregiver and Accomplices Allegedly Robbed Her Late Client’s Elderly Widow. One Wore Clown Mask and Another Had Sledgehammer, Deputies Say


Melissa Martinez and four accomplices allegedly robbed her late client's elderly wife.

Melissa Martinez and three accomplices allegedly robbed her late client’s elderly widow. Deputies said one of the robbers wore a clown mask. [Martinez’s mugshot and a picture of clown masks via Orange County Sheriff’s Office.]

A caregiver was allegedly behind the home invasion robbery of an elderly woman in Orange County, Florida. Melissa Martinez, and three co-defendants — Shakira Rivera Colon, 26, Jaydie Cintron Mayoral, 24, and Nelson Cruz Medina, 42 — were arrested for the crime, deputies said Friday.

Deputies said they responded to the victim’s home on Dec. 1. According to the arrest affidavit, she said she was sleeping in her bedroom at 3:00 a.m. when two people broke in.

“At approximately 0300 hours, she was asleep in her bedroom with the door locked due to being the only occupant in the residence,” deputies said. “She advised her husband had recently passed away on November 11, 2022. She was awakened by a loud banging noise when her bedroom door shattered into pieces, and she observed two unknown subjects enter her bedroom.”

One of the suspects was a woman in a clown-mask, authorities said. The other was allegedly a man wearing a black ski mask. He wielded a sledgehammer, and he grabbed the phone out of the victim’s hands when she tried to call 911, according to the arrest affidavit.

From documents:

The victim reported she quickly got onto the floor, began praying frantically, “please God, please God,” and did not want to make eye contact with the suspects. The suspect with the sledgehammer started going through her bedroom and closest where they eventually located her black Sentry safe hidden in the closet. The victim advised suspect two then attempted to smash the safe open with the sledgehammer with negative results. Suspect one [the woman in the clown mask] approached the victim while she was on the floor praying and began patting her on the back, stating, “everything is going to be ok,” in an attempt to console her.

The two suspects allegedly left her bedroom with the safe, fleeing out the front door. Meanwhile, the victim managed to call authorities because she had a house phone, documents. Stolen items were family heirlooms and jewelry. Authorities valued the items at thousands of dollars. They said the elderly victim was physically unhurt.

Deputies said neighborhood surveillance footage recorded four people — “three wearing blue hoodies and one suspect wearing a blue jumpsuit and clown mask.” (Authorities in there Facebook press statement described there being “clown masks” in the plural but this arrest document only describes one at any given time.)

“[Neighborhood surveillance footage] also shows the suspects carrying a heavy item, walking on the sidewalk, which is believed to be the stolen safe, to a black four-door sedan parked on Ibis Landing Way beside the residence of [redacted],” deputies said.

Shakira Rivera Colon (top left), Jaydie Cintron Mayoral (bottom left), and Nelson Cruz Medina allegedly helped Melissa Martinez rob her late client's elderly wife. [Mugshots via Orange County Sheriff's Office]

Shakira Rivera Colon (top left), Jaydie Cintron Mayoral (bottom left), and Nelson Cruz Medina allegedly helped Melissa Martinez rob her late client’s elderly wife. [Mugshots via Orange County Sheriff’s Office]

Martinez landed on law enforcement radar. She was the only caregiver in recent weeks to have a key to the home since the lock was changed, the victim’s daughter said in documents. According to the affidavit, Martinez only worked there for two days: Nov. 9 and 10. The victim’s husband passed away Nov. 11.

Video surveillance also showed a black four-door sedan driving fast through the neighborhood at approximately 3:19 a.m., just after the home invasion, documents said.

Investigators discovered that Martinez ended up pawning ” a 14K gold necklace, a 14K gold ring with three diamonds on it, a 10K gold bracelet, and a 14K gold cross pendant/charm” on the evening of the home invasion, according to documents.

Cell records allegedly put Martinez’s phone on the scene of the robbery before, during, and after it happened.

Martinez and Cruz Medina are also charged with dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership.

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