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NYPD Arrests Joseph Martinez Of New Rochelle In 1999 Killing Of Bronx 13-Year-Old Minerliz Soriano

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- More than two decades after the crime, police have made an arrest in the killing of a teenage girl in the Bronx.

On Monday, CBS2's Ali Bauman spoke with victim's family, which has been tortured by the cold case.

Joseph Martinez, 49, was taken into NYPD custody and charged with murder Monday, 22 years after Minerliz Soriano was found strangled in a Bronx dumpster.

"I'd like to say to him, 'Why?'" said Amelia Soriano, the victim's aunt.

Minerliz Soriano, was last seen as a 13-year-old in 1999 leaving her Bronxdale middle school, when she asked friends to go to the library with her and they declined.

Her body was later found wrapped in a trash bag by someone looking for discarded movies in the dumpster behind a Bartow Avenue video store.

"He threw her in the garbage, in the dumpster like she was garbage. She wasn't garbage. She was a human being," Amelia Soriano said.

Investigators spent two decades searching for the teenager's killer.

Over the phone, Minerliz Soriano's father told CBS2 he had lost hope there would ever be an arrest.

"I feel happy because justice is working, but I feel sad at the same time because it takes too long," Luis Soriano said.

Sources told CBS2 police found Martinez, a New Rochelle resident, using familial DNA, a controversial method which allows police to search for potential relatives of a DNA match.

"I can't explain because I can say I'd be happy because they got him, but the pain is in here. The pain no goes," Amelia Soriano said.

The family told Bauman the arrest does not give them closure, but it does fell like the first step on the road to justice for Minerliz Soriano.

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