Authorities end search for gun believed used to kill woman, infant

(Photo by John Carroll)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Authorities Wednesday afternoon called off a search in the Brazos River for a gun used in a shooting that left a young mother and her infant daughter dead.

Divers spent a second day Wednesday searching unsuccessfully for the .22 caliber handgun investigators think was used in the deadly Nov. 5 shooting.

The search ended at around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Valarie Martinez, 24, and her 1-year-old daughter, Azariah, were found dead at around noon on Nov. 5 near Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir east of Waco.

They were laid to rest Wednesday afternoon in Waco's Oakwood Cemetery.

A 26-year-old Temple man is jailed in lieu of $1 million bond, charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths.

Christopher Paul Weiss, 26, was arrested just after 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 after he drove off from his house in Temple, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.

Martinez was his ex-girlfriend and he thinks he fathered her infant daughter, authorities said.

The infant was found inside Martinez’s car, still strapped in her safety seat.

Martinez’s body was about 20 feet from the car.

Both had been shot in the head, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

A preliminary autopsy report confirmed that both died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Investigators questioned Weiss on the same day the bodies were found.

He told them he met Martinez at around 10 p.m. the night before at her apartment in Waco and then returned to Temple.

Later, though, he admitted that he lied and said that he returned to Waco from Temple to see her again, the affidavit says.

He admitted that he was in a romantic relationship with Martinez until last weekend of October.

On Nov. 6, while investigators were interviewing his sister, Amanda, Weiss called and his sister placed the phone on speaker mode, the affidavit says.

“Christopher admitted to lying…during his interview on November 5, 2017 and added he and Valarie talked about going to ‘TP&L’ or Trading House Lake,” the affidavit said.

“Christopher continued stating he would fail a polygraph test which he was scheduled and agreed to take but cancelled on November 7, 2017,” the affidavit says.

On Nov. 7, a forensic interview was conducted with a 9-year-old girl who said “that Valarie told her when Valarie left the residence she was going to meet Azariah’s father at the lake and took the 1-year-old child with her.”

The girl described the infant’s father as “the man with white skin who is Azariah’s dad and drove the white truck,” the affidavit said.

On Nov. 5 investigators interviewed a witness who said he saw Martinez and Weiss arguing the night before she was killed, the affidavit said.

Weiss, however, denied he argued with Martinez, the affidavit said.

Another witness said “at one point Valarie told Christopher she would make him pay child support if he was not going to be involved in the baby’s life.”

Weiss also denied that Martinez had asked him for child support and said she didn’t want it, the affidavit says.

Weiss told investigators he owned several guns including a .22 caliber revolver he said he kept in the tool bag in his toolbox on his truck, the affidavit says.

He said the pistol and the tools were stolen from the truck several months ago outside a Walmart store, but said he never reported the theft, the affidavit says.

Authorities had Weiss’ home on Berger Road under surveillance on Nov. 7 and moved to arrest him after he left the residence.

Authorities think Weiss was planning to leave the area at the time of his arrest, McNamara said.

He moved from Waco to Temple several weeks ago, he said.