Just put up Jozlynn Martinez

I just profiled the case of Jozlynn Mari Martinez, a two-year-old who disappeared in February of this year. I actually don’t recall hearing about her before yesterday, when I encountered an article on the case. Jozlynn’s mother’s boyfriend, Jeffrey Malmberg, was convicted of her murder earlier this month.

It’s an extremely sad case. She was such a beautiful, innocent little girl, not even toilet-trained yet, and the man she thought of as Daddy knelt on her chest and pressed the life out of her. Then he discarded her body like so much trash. It was almost certainly incinerated at a local waste disposal plant.

The case reminds me a lot of Haleigh Cummings: physical abuse, dysfunctional adults who were marginal parents at best, drug use, etc. Jozlynn’s mother, Consuela, lost custody of her baby son right after Jozlynn disappeared and it doesn’t look like she’ll get him back anytime soon, although the plan thus far is for reunification. (Malmberg, the baby’s father, has relinquished his rights.) I feel deeply sorry for Consuela and I believe she loves/loved her children, but from the sounds of it the little boy is better off in foster care. His mother has mental illnesses that she’s not getting treatment for, she used drugs and allowed other people to use drugs in the house with the children, and she doesn’t seem to do a very good job picking out boyfriends. And the grief and guilt from Jozlynn’s death would cripple even the strongest and best of mothers. I hope she gets her act together. I hope her son is either reunited with her or adopted in a timely fashion, and not stuck in foster care limbo all his childhood.