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Where is Roy Martinez?


Police are looking for a Petaluma man who failed to show up for work on June 3, and has been missing ever since. While Roy Martinez, 51, has previously taken off unannounced during bouts of depression, his wife said he showed no signs of distress in the weeks leading up to his disappearance.

"This is very unusual," said a weary Barbara Martinez on Monday. "He had not been indicating any depression lately. He is a devoted father; I can't understand what happened to him."

She said he left for his office at Exit Strategies Group on East Washington Street that Tuesday morning as usual, wearing business attire and seeming "perfectly normal." When she got home that evening, she found a voicemail from his office inquiring why he hadn't shown up for work that day.

"That was the first red flag I had," she said.

By the morning of June 5, he still wasn't home. "That's when I decided I had to call the police," Barbara Martinez said.

After tracking his cellphone, police found his car the next day, June 6, on Fairground Drive near Payran Street. Inside the vehicle, they found his car keys, wallet, cellphone, the clothes he wore to work and, most alarmingly to his wife, his eye glasses.

"He wears them all the time," she said. "He is near-sighted. His vision is blurry without them."

That's when Petaluma police said the case transitioned from a routine missing person report to a full-fledged investigation.

"The fact that everything was left behind, that makes this suspicious," said Detective Lance Novello, who is handling the case for the Petaluma police. "Usually with missing person cases, they're home by now, within 24 hours. Or at least there's been some sort of activity you can chart."

Novello added that there's been no "digital footprint" since Roy Martinez disappeared, meaning no bank account transactions or activity on his social media accounts or email. A tracking dog was brought to the car, and followed a scent toward the library, where the trail went cold.

Novello said he "couldn't rule out foul play" but that there was "nothing that indicated that."

Roy Martinez has a history of disappearing during difficult times. In 2012, while battling depression and financial stress, he didn't come home one night after work. Barbara Martinez spent the restless night worrying about his whereabouts, but the next day he responded to her texts.

"He said, 'I don't know what to do.' And I told him, 'Just come home.' And he did," she said. "There were signs he was depressed back then. This time, there was nothing."

The last time he disappeared, he took his car and drove to Napa, returning the next day with a promise never to put his family through that stress again. Roy Martinez is the father of a 10-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy.

"He would never walk away from his children, ever," Barbara Martinez said emphatically.

In the days since he disappeared, Barbara Martinez has fought to keep normalcy in her home, sending her children to school and play dates as usual. "I just want him to know we're here," Barbara Martinez said, adding that Sunday is Father's Day. "Just come home to your children."

Novello said the family has been diligent about getting the word out, using social media and fliers to alert people to the case. So far, very few leads have trickled in, but police are hopeful that will change.

"If we get a lead, we're going to work that lead until we figure it out," Novello said. "People can stay gone for a while, but they can't stay gone forever."

Barbara Martinez is "praying" that someone sees him and reports it to police. He may still be wearing his wedding band, a gold ring studded with diamond baguettes.

Roy Martinez is described as 5-foot-10, 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is well known in the Petaluma area, a noted business man with a Harvard MBA an active in his community as a member of Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Petaluma Police Department at 778-4372.

(Contact Emily Charrier at emily.charrier@arguscourier.com)