Minnesota Man Charged With Murder Of 19-Year-Old Yadhira Romero Martinez

Yadhira was “a gentle kind soul who was working hard for her family,” says her cousin.

May 18, 2021
Hundreds gathered in Minneapolis for a vigil in memory of 19-year-old Yadhira Romero Martinez. [via GoFundMe]

Hundreds gathered in Minneapolis for a vigil in memory of 19-year-old Yadhira Romero Martinez. [via GoFundMe]

Hundreds gathered in Minneapolis for a vigil in memory of 19-year-old Yadhira Romero Martinez. [via GoFundMe]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A suspect is under arrest in connection with the death of a Minnesota woman who recently moved from Mexico to the United States with her younger brother.

On April 22, Yadhira Romero Martinez, 19, failed to return home after finishing her job around 4 p.m. Concerned family began searching for Martinez and filed a missing persons report the next morning, KARE reported.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the station, on April 23, Daniel Cuenca Zuniga left his rented room at a Minneapolis home and the landlord saw through the doorway a woman’s feet. He allegedly locked the door, told her the woman had “passed out” and “had had too much to drink” and he left, the documents state.

At 12:30 p.m., the landlord attempted to wake the woman by knocking on Cuenca Zuniga’s door, but when she failed to respond, the landlord called emergency responders to do a welfare check. Fireman broke down the door and discovered Martinez’s body.

The complaint states detectives obtained surveillance footage from neighbors allegedly showing Cuenca Zuniga, 23, and the victim arriving at the home together around 6 p.m. the night before Martinez died.

Days after Martinez’s death, authorities located Cuenca Zuniga in Ohio using cell phone data, arrested him and charged him with intentional, non-premeditated second-degree murder. He was extradited back to Minnesota.

On May 10, Cuenca Zuniga made his initial court appearance and a judge set his bail at $750,000. He is currently being held in the Hennepin County Jail.

“I didn't have anything to do with this issue, and this is unfair to me,” Cuenca Zuniga claimed in court, according to KARE.

On a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Martinez’s body to be sent to her parents in Mexico, Jenny Smith described her cousin as “a gentle kind soul who was working hard for her family.”

“Most of her life was in Mexico,” Smith wrote. “She was born in the US, but at [an] early age her family had to migrate back to Mexico with her parents not being able to return.”

A couple years ago, Smith noted, Martinez “decided to come back to the States in hopes of a better future and opportunity.”

Next Up

DNA Ties Two Virginia College Students’ Homicides To ‘Back-To-School Killer’

One victim’s mother called Jesse Matthew Jr. "a serial rapist and murderer who had been hiding in plain sight."

UPDATE: Fugitive From Texas Wanted For Murder And Rape Arrested

Hector Ramirez-Lopez is in custody and faces felony charges for murder and sexual assault-rape.

Accused Rapist & Murderer Fathers Children With Woman & Her Daughter; Now On The Run

Tomas Magallon Gonzalez is described as a master manipulator of people, especially children. He’s accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's nine-year-old daughter for years and eventually fathering two children with her before killing her.

True Crime News Roundup: George Floyd’s 4-Year-Old Grandniece Shot While Sleeping In Bed

Plus: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of fraud; investigators crack the 1995 cold case murder of a Georgia schoolgirl; police name a suspect in the shooting death of Memphis rapper Young Dolph; and a judge overturns a Pennsylvania man’s murder conviction after 37 years.

Police Arrest Suspect In 2012 Murder Of UNC Student Faith Hedgepeth

“Although her time on earth was short, Faith had an enormous impact on many,” her family says.

South Carolina Store Owner Charged With Murder After Shooting Of 14-Year-Old Boy

14-year-old Cyrus Carmack-Belton was allegedly chased, shot, and killed by the owner of a convenience store on May 28, 2023. Rick Chow, 58, has since been charged with his murder.

True Crime News Roundup: Britney Spears’ Father Will No Longer Oversee Her Conservatorship

Plus: A New York jury reaches a verdict in the R. Kelly sex-trafficking trial; 11 fraternity brothers are charged for hazing after a pledge dies; and the Georgia spa shooter pleads not guilty.

True Crime News Roundup: 1964 Cold Case Rape And Murder Of 9-Year-Old Girl Solved, Police Say

Plus: Navarro Cheer star accepts plea deal; and Parkland killer claims he has multiple personalities.

How A Botched No-Knock Raid Led To Amir Locke’s Tragic Shooting Death

Loved ones “just flabbergasted” the 22-year-old Minnesota man “was killed in this way,” lawyer says.

A Killer Was Brought To Justice Thirteen Years After Murdering A Minnesota Woman

Trina Langenbrunner was found on the side of the road in Cloquet, Minnesota on Sept. 3, 2000.