Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

MICHELLE MARTINKO

Michelle Martinko's family reacts to arrest made in cold case

Flowers and candles are laid at Michelle Martinko's headstone at Cedar Memorial in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Jerry Burns of Manchester was arrested Wednesday in the 1979 death of Martinko. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Flowers and candles are laid at Michelle Martinko's headstone at Cedar Memorial in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Jerry Burns of Manchester was arrested Wednesday in the 1979 death of Martinko. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
/

Michelle Martinko’s family has released a statement after police arrested a suspect in the 39-year-old cold case.

Martinko’s brother-in-law John Stonebraker, married to her sister Janelle Stonebraker, said in the statement:

“Janelle and I are very pleased and grateful for the work of several generations of Cedar Rapids uniformed police and detectives in bringing Mr. Burns to justice. From the leadership on down, they never gave up.

The community can be very proud of its law enforcement, and for the tremendous comfort and support area residents have extended to our family over the thirty-nine years since Michelle’s death. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone.

The family will have no further comment until a later date. Mr. Burns is presumed innocent, and we look forward to the evidence showing otherwise.”

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.