Public Safety

Jerry Burns's Family releases statement following arrest in Martinko case

Jerry Burns makes his initial appearance via video at Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, after his arrest in the 1979 murder of Michelle Martinko. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Jerry Burns makes his initial appearance via video at Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, after his arrest in the 1979 murder of Michelle Martinko. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The family of the man arrested in connection with the murder of Michelle Martinko, who died 39 years ago, released an official statement Saturday afternoon.

Jerry Burns,64, of Manchester, was charged Thursday in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Martinko, which occurred on Dec. 20, 1979. His DNA was matched with the DNA found at the scene.

His family’s statement read:

“The family of Jerry Burns would like to thank our friends and the Manchester community for the support we have received since Jerry’s arrest. We would also like to extend our sympathy to the Martinko family. The charge against Jerry comes as a complete shock to us and we are doing our best to carry on with our lives. During this difficult time and as the justice system runs its course we ask that our privacy be respected. Thank you.”

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