Family still looking for answers one year after son's murder in South Austin

365 days have passed since 23-year-old Nikolas Martinez was murdered in South Austin

His family say there are still no credible leads in the case and they're asking for the public's help. 

"It's so hard not knowing," says Wendy Martinez, Nikolas's mother. "…we know nothing's going to bring him back. Nothing's gonna make it better. But just not knowing is just killing us."

"He was enjoying life. I feel like now. He was getting going. Traveling," Wendy Martinez said. "But it got cut short. It's not fair. It's just not fair."

On July 23, 2021, Nikolas Martinez was inside his apartment at the Brook Apartments on S I-35. He spoke with his parents on the phone at 8:30 p.m. and then with his sister at 9:50 p.m

When the call ended, he began playing video games online with his cousin, telling him he had to take a quick break to get laundry out of the dryer, which was in a communal facility onsite. He never completed the task

Around 10:30 p.m. he called 9-1-1. "And he was very calm. And told them he was stabbed," said Wendy Martinez.


He drove himself to a gas station about a half mile away for help. "And then he was pronounced dead at 10:47. And that was it. It was that quick," she said.

Police found a knife inside the car and were able to pull a partial DNA profile, which hasn't been helpful so far, but they hope it will be as technology advances.

Police say they have no reason to believe Nikolas was meeting up with anybody and it's still unclear where exactly where the crime occurred. The family now believes Nikolas was parked behind his complex when the incident occurred.

"We think it was…some…something random that just happened. And we don't know why," Wendy Martinez said. "So if anybody saw anything, just come forward. They can solve this for us and for Niko."

Award money for information leading to an arrest in the case totals $12,000. Anyone with information on Nikolas's case is asked to contact the Austin Police Department.