TAMPA - She was four months pregnant when her husband vanished from their driveway, only to be found a week later -- murdered. Kacee Martinez is pleading for help -- not just for her but for the couple's child.
Kacee Martinez is madly in love with her little E.J. "He is who keeps me going everyday," Kacee said.
He is her world. And now, for him, she fills two roles -- mommy and daddy.
"I never expected to be a widow at 31," she said.
The night her husband of four years, Emilio, disappeared is as clear in her mind as the day she married him. Sixteen weeks pregnant, she was craving root beer, Emilio said he would get it.
"I remember him giving me a kiss goodbye and saying he would be right back," Kacee said. "And that was the last time I saw him."
She endured her pregnancy, knowing Emilio was gone. He was found murdered a week after he disappeared. And every second, Kacee was plagued with questions.
"Why did this happen? What did he do so bad that somebody felt he deserved this? In my mind there is nothing anybody could have done so bad to deserve something like this," Kacee said.
Then, her little E.J. came into the world 4 months later, and she could finally smile again.
"It is amazing, just looking at him gives me strength," Kacee said. "And the fact he is here is amazing."
Amazing because they were planning on starting a family in January. But by that time it would have been to late. Emilio was killed in December.
"What a blessing of God. What a piece that God left me. That Emilio left me of him," Kacee said.
And when she is alone with their son, there are precious moments where she knows her Emilio is watching.
"I do sense that he is with me," Kacee said through tears. "It may be just looking into his sons eyes there are days that I feel him."
Kacee held back her tears. She has been, for her son's sake, but's it's also because of E.J. Kacee wanted to talk about her husband's murder. She has remained silent since his disappearance.
"I get up each morning and I try to live as happy as I can. But there is not a day that goes by that I don't wonder what happened or why," she explained. "For myself, anyway, growing up having that father-daughter relationship. A father-son relationship is just as important. That is one of the things that makes me so angry everyday. The fact that EJ won't have that with his father. The fact that a father is there for security. A father is there for love and patience and teaching and he's not going to be able to ever have that with his father."
It is why Kacee decided to share her message, a plea for help.
"I do feel that E.J. does deserve some answers," she said. "I'm afraid that people are scared to come forth. I'm afraid that people have this information and they are not willing to come forward for whatever reason it may be. I am asking them to be courageous and do the right thing."
Kacee wants closure more than ever for her son.
"I would love for this case to be closed by the time he is able to ask me what happened," she said. "I want to be able to tell him the truth of what has occuured, with all the details. I want him to know why."
While she waits for those answers, another answer came to her in a dream about Emilio just a couple of weeks ago.
"It was clear. It was like we were sitting here talking to each other. He was expressing the reasons why he loved me. That our child was a miracle and that we were placed on this earth to live a happy life and that is exactly what he wants me to do," Kacee said.
So, that is the closure she will live for now. But, her faith tells her one day she will have her answers.
'I am confident that justice will be serve,d whether it is here in this life, or in the life after with God. I am definitely confident in that," Kacee said.
Investigators now say they believe there was more than one person involved in the murder of Emilio Martinez. The reward for their capture is now $25,000.
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Plenty of sunshine with warm temps and humid conditions. Only a 20% chance for an afternoon shower or storm.