Police: Body found near Melba is likely missing Nampa woman

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) Canyon County sheriff's deputies secured a crime scene south of Melba into Friday morning after crews discovered a human body.

"The fact that we have found a human buried in the dirt here.. Gives us a high probability that this is Selena Thomas," Nampa police chief, Craig Kingsbury, said Thursday.

Selena Thomas, a Nampa mother, was reported missing was killed by her boyfriend with a hammer, stuffed into a trunk and then buried in a cornfield with the help of three other men, according to police. Police said excavation crews unearthed a body Tuesday night.

"We want to do everything we can to gather the evidence in such a manner that it is ready for presentation in a court of law," Nampa police chief, Craig Kingsbury, said.

The boyfriend, Alfredo M. Martinez, 39, has been arrested on an unrelated parole violation but prosecutors have not charged him in the death of Selena Dawn Thomas, 37.

Prosecutors, however, charged three other people with crimes Thursday, including aiding and abetting murder and failure to notify authorities of a death. In court documents filed in those cases, police contend that Martinez told them he struck his girlfriend in the head with a blue hammer and then buried her body.

Martinez's Idaho arrest record includes aggravated assault and aggravated battery convictions.

In 2010, Martinez walked away from his assigned work at the South Idaho Correctional Institution Community Work Center south of Boise. He was caught 13 hours later.

Thomas was reported missing Monday and was last seen Aug. 14.

Thomas' mother, Lori Moon, was the one who filed the missing person report. She told officers that Thomas did not have a good relationship with Martinez and her car and items that she normally carried with her were still at her home.

Later, officers found all the carpet from Thomas' car had been removed and there were blood smears on the left hinge of the trunk.

Officials said Wednesday at a news conference that they were working to collect evidence at a handful of crime scenes. The investigation included Nampa Police and Canyon County deputies spending the night in a cornfield south of Nampa.

At the news conference, Moon urged women to seek help if they are victims of domestic violence.

"If anyone starts anything with you maybe a push, maybe a slap get away," Moon said.