Within hours of John Laubach’s death, a man tried four times to withdraw money from an ATM at a Chase branch on East 14th Street as security camera filmed him. Someone tried to use the same debit/credit card at a Bronx diner that night. Cops released three photos of the man who attempted the ATM withdrawal. An anonymous tip soon identified him as Edwin Faulkner of Brownsville and Staten Island.
Faulkner been released on parole the previous November after serving almost three years in a New York State prison for attempted grand larceny in the third degree. By the time of Laubach’s murder Faulkner had an open arrest warrant for violating the terms of that parole. He’d previously served a two-year probation after being convicted in 2003 of receiving stolen property in Hudson County, NJ, and he’d also been in trouble with the cops for drug possession and for trying to sell marijuana to an undercover officer (the marijuana turned out to be fake).
Detectives determined that the electrical cord that bound Laubach came from a lamp in the apartment and that it had been cut with a kitchen knife. Fingerprints on the knife matched Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera’s. Martinez-Herrera had been arrested four times in his native Florida, including once for drug possession and once for a gunpoint robbery (the robbery charges were dropped). When Laubach died, Martinez-Herrera was already wanted for a probation violation.
Police received reports saying that two men matching photos and descriptions of Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera were hiding out at an apartment on University Avenue in the Bronx.
But by the time investigators tracked them to the Bronx for the murder of John Laubach, Edwin Faulkner and Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera had fled.
The duo kept using their cell phones. It was easy enough for the cops to trace their location to Orlando, Florida.
The morning of March 13, 2015, cops from the NYPD’s Violent Felony Squad, 10th Precinct, and Manhattan South Homicide Squad, cooperating with the Orange County Sheriff’s office, arrested Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera. The pair were promptly extradited back to New York.
Prosecutors say that Faulkner quickly confessed under questioning and that he admitted that he’d choked Laubach to death during sex.
Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera were arraigned March 18, 2012, and charged with the murder of the lonely older man who’d wanted their company. Their trial is pending.
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