Family pleads for answers after father was killed in South Austin

The family and friends of a 35-year-old murdered in South Austin Easter morning are asking anyone with information on the case to contact the Austin Police Department. 

Cory Arizmendez was the 20th person killed in Austin in 2022. His body was found on East Milton Street, just off of South Congress. Police have not publicly disclosed Arizmendez’s cause of death, only stating there was "trauma" to his body. 

"I don't know what happened to him," said his mother, Anne Martinez. "I need some answers. I mean, obviously as a mother, you know, my child was murdered and all I can think of are the most horrible things that had to have happened to him before he took his last breath."

Arizmendez, an ironworker, came to Austin for a fresh start, Martinez said. The family resides in Fort Bend County.

"All I think about is my son went to your city to build it and Austin killed him," she said. 

Martinez believes her son knew he was going to die. He told her that he was "in danger" for more than a month prior to his death, but offered little information. 

"He was being hunted down. I know that for a fact," she said. 

Arizmendez’s close friend, Renée "Rae" Powell, said he never told her he was in danger, but she saw his behavior shift in the weeks leading up to his death. She said the two typically talked every day, and before he died, he had nearly gone silent. 

"He was extremely distant," Powell said. 

Powell said her last message to Arizmendez asking him if he was "okay" went unanswered. 

"I still cry. I still tell him I love him before I go to bed and I talk to him, but it's hard. It's hard knowing that this was somebody's decision," she said. 

Six weeks have passed since Arizmendez’s death. Increasingly frustrated, Martinez and Powell are asking anyone with information to contact police. 

The Austin Police Department Homicide Unit can be contacted at 512-974-TIPS; the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), use the new Crime Stoppers app, or email APD Homicide at You may remain anonymous. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD, free on iPhone and Android.

"[His body was found] was right off of Congress, which is one of your main downtown streets… I just don't understand why my murdered son can't get more justice," said Martinez.