NewsCrime Watch

Actions

Vandalism found at Billings home where 12-year-old's body was discovered

Damaged home
Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 20, 2024

BILLINGS - Vandalism was discovered early Tuesday morning on Terry Avenue at the home where 12-year-old Andy Paul Beartusk Martinez's body was found.

Billings police confirmed that they believe the broken windows and spray-painted sidewalk are an act of retribution over Martinez's death.

Martinez was found dead last Friday in a shed on the property. He died of a gunshot wound to the head. A 13-year-old was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, and a 19-year-old, who was identified as a person of interest, is in custody on unrelated charges, according to police.

For neighbors in the area, like Azia Huck, the most recent crime adds to what has already been a turbulent past week.

"No one knew for several hours," Huck said of last Friday. "I looked outside and I saw the two unmarked, and then my kids were like, 'There's police cars outside.'"

Huck said once she discovered that police had found Martinez's body, she quickly grew concerned over her family's safety.

"It kind of puts your brain in a fog because I've got three kids," Huck said. "This all happened two houses down and none of us were aware."

In the days that followed, there's been additional chaos for Huck and the entire neighborhood. A memorial was placed on the sidewalk in front of Huck's home because the crime scene investigation was still going on in front of the property where Martinez was actually found.

"They respectfully asked me if they could put it there, and my husband said, 'Yes, of course,'" Huck said.

Memorial

Originally, the Hucks had no issue with the memorial being so close to home, but it has now started causing problems with all types of people coming to the neighborhood.

"Good or bad intentions, whatever it may be, it still puts me in an uncomfortable position," Huck said. "I'm kind of fearful of everyone that comes by these days just because I'm on edge."

Early Tuesday morning around 1 a.m., the neighborhood's concerns quickly turned to fear. Riley Terry lives a few houses down from where Martinez's body was found, and he believes he was jolted awake by gunshots.

"I woke up and I heard something and I was like, 'Gosh, that sounds like gunshots,'" Terry said Wednesday afternoon. "I saw two figures. It was dark out but I saw a pistol in one of their hands."

Those gunshots destroyed several windows in the front of the home. Terry quickly worried for the safety of his fiance and alerted the authorities.

Shattered window

"My first thought was just protecting her," Terry said. "So I said, 'Hit the floor and call 9-1-1.' I know there's quite a bit of crime in Billings, but this definitely touches home."

When police arrived, the suspects were already gone so the police went around the neighborhood checking for any surveillance video. Huck's home was one of the many approached, which ultimately added to her nerves.

"Seeing police officers at this point is kind of scary," Huck said. "It's frustrating, it's overwhelming, it's all of the emotions because we don't know what's going to happen next."

A tumultuous week that some fear could lead to even more violence.

"It's just scary because I don't know if I want to put my kids outside right now with all this going on," Huck said. "I just don't know if the wrong person is going to cross that path in anger right now."

RELATED Q2 Coverage:

Family of murdered 12-year-old in Billings say they're frustrated by slow response

'Person of interest' identified in killing of missing Billings boy

Family, friends continue search for missing Billings boy