Arrest made in 1996 slaying of NC police officer

Arrest made in 1996 slaying of NC police officer


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 11:36 AM

JONESVILLE, N.C. -- A man charged in the 16-year-long murder mystery involving a Jonesville, North Carolina police officer has ties to Gaston County.

Scott Vincent Sica's arrest Wednesday comes almost 16 years to the day of Sgt. Gregory Keith Martin's death.

Sergeant Martin stopped a red truck along Interstate 77 in Yadkin County on October 5, 1996, when he was shot and killed.  Authorities discovered the truck was stolen from West Virginia.

Investigators say Sica's name came up as a potential suspect awhile ago and it was a good lead that led to his arrest.

Sica lived in Gaston County for a couple years, not far from where police found a van dumped in a Home Depot parking lot.  That van was stolen in Yadkin County the same night as Sgt. Martin's murder and police thought the two could be connected.

Investigators say Sica's name did not come up right away.

In addition to pictures of the stolen truck and van, police used a sketch of the van driver given to them by a witness who claimed to see the van the night of Martin's murder.

That witness came forward in 2005, nine years after the murder.  Investigators say the witness was hypnotized to try to remember everything he could.

Gastonia Police Sergeant Jimmy Arndt handed those pictures out over the years to the public, including at the Home Depot parking lot, hoping for a break and trying to help the Jonesville Police Department.

He isn't saying what the break was or when they got it, just that they got it.

"It was a lot of good police work," Sgt. Arndt said.

A couple years ago investigators said they were using new technology to re-examine evidence, as well as using a new system to track leads. For now they're not saying what that yielded.

It appears Sica left Gaston County right after the murder.  He ended up in Florida where he has family.

Sica's Facebook pictures show him loving life—living, working and playing near the ocean in Cape Coral.  It's a far cry from the look on his face in his mug shot.

"It makes you feel good to know people cared for that long and that you were able to go back and solve something that was this long," Sgt. Arndt added.

Investigators say two men were in the red truck when Martin was murdered, but so far Sica is the only one arrested and charged with Martin's murder.