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July 15, 2011

PHOENIX — It was the last thing a cab driver and his passenger expected to find as they pulled into the Fry’s Grocery Store at 67th Avenue and Indian School Road: the body of 50-year-old Martha Hilton in the driveway into the parking lot.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said it was about 3 o’clock in the morning on July 28, 2007.

“Investigators believe she was actually killed somewhere else and the body was dumped there,” Burch said.

But, who would want to kill Martha? she was a mother and grandmother and had lived in Arizona for 30 years.

“She was beaten horrifically,” Burch said. “In fact, the coroner ruled the death a homicide by blunt force trauma. She was also strangled, which is a very personal crime.”

Just eight hours before the body was found, Burch said, “There was surveillance camera in the area that showed her alive and well on the 27th early evening at a convenience store. Then, her body was found dumped on the early morning of the 28th.”

Although the murder happened several years ago, Burch said, “We’re hoping that someone who knew Martha can give us a call, even four years later, and kind of give us an idea of who might have wanted to do her harm.”