David Martinez-Valencia was stabbed to death in east London on Wednesday. His family in Spain are trying to get his body returned to Valladolid for a funeral
Relatives have paid tribute to an aspiring chef who was stabbed to death after moving to London to pursue his career – as an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.
David Martinez-Valencia, 26, who had dual Spanish and Colombian citizenship, was repeatedly stabbed at a flat in Leyton, east London, on Wednesday. He ran down the street but collapsed in front of shocked passers-by and bled to death just after 5pm.
Colombian-based music producer Yohan Martinez posted a 2005 photo of the two of them together as children alongside a message which said: ‘He lived like most would have wanted to live, getting to know the world in the simplest way, working and helping his family out.
‘I admire him and we will always admire him. His loss pains us. This photo is the only one I have of him. We didn’t take photos last time you came, thinking it wouldn’t be the the last time I was going to see you.’
Recalling Mr Martinez-Valencia confused to help them in their bakery after learning how to make bread, he added. ‘My mum is heartbroken today because she loved you as if you were her own son. We miss you and will always miss you.
‘You don’t know how much it hurts that you’ve gone. I hope you make the best recipes in Heaven.’
Police arrested a 18-year-old man yesterday on Thursday on suspicion of murder and remains in custody at a central London police station.
A police tent set up behind the police cordon is covering the crime scene as forensic officers conduct their enquiries
A post mortem took place yesterday, but the results have yet to be released. Pictured: Mr Martinez-Valencia next to the London Eye
Scotland Yard has already said the killing is not believed to be gang-related and the victim and suspect, who is still on the run, were known to each other.
A post mortem took place yesterday, but the results have yet to be released.
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘The investigation was launched after police were called to North Birkbeck Road, 4.26pm on Wednesday, March 6 following reports of a stabbing.
‘Officers, London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance attended and found a man suffering from knife injuries.
‘He was pronounced dead at the scene at 5.10pm – his next of kin have been informed.
‘Although formal identification awaits, the deceased is David Steven Martinez-Valencia, 26, who had dual Spanish and Colombian nationality.’
The motive for the fatal attack may have been jealousy, according to the Spanish newspaper El Norte de Castilla, which is based in the city of Valladolid where David’s mother lives.
The paper quoted an unnamed source as saying: ‘We have been told that one of the boys had argued with him because he said he had stolen his girlfriend off him.’
Mr Martinez-Valencia’s grief-stricken mother is said to be trying to repatriate his body as soon as possible for a funeral in Valladolid, where she reportedly lives alone after his two siblings left Spain to seek work in Switzerland and Belgium.
The 26-year-old was born in Colombia but moved to Spain as a child. He worked for a car manufacturer in Spain before moving to London.
Former colleague Josechu Sanz said in a social media tribute: ‘Very sad news for all those who worked with David, a really great person aged only 26 who has been murdered in London. Rest in peace and I hope justice is done.’
Valladolid-based DJ pal Jose Antonio Maraca said: ‘Rest in peace my friend. Life can be so cruel.’
A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed this morning that no one has been arrested over Mr Martinez-Valencia’s murder.
She said: ‘The suspect and victim were known to each other and the killing was not gang-related but we are not saying anything at this stage about the circumstances and possible motives or detailing how they knew each other.’
Police say the victim knew the suspect and they do not believe the incident was gang related. No arrests have been made
Mr Martinez was attacked at an address on North Birkbeck Road in Leyton before leaving and collapsing in the street. He was declared dead at the scene at around 5.10pm on Wednesday.
A local resident said: ‘He got stabbed at the flats. He was screaming for help and crying. He just kept repeating, ‘Help, help, help, they are after me.
‘I was inside and my husband who saw it came running in and said ‘Call an ambulance.’
‘People were getting towels to soak up the blood. A girl had blood all over her hands. We were all in shock.’
Composite picture of some of the people who have lost their lives to knife crime this year. Top row, from left: Tudor Simionov, Jaden Moodie, Nedim Bilgin, Lejean Richards, Dennis Anderson. Middle row, from left: Patrick Hill, Sidali Mohamed, Bright Akinleye, Abdullah Muhammad, Glendon Spence. Bottom row, from left: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, Hazrat Umar, Che Morrison, Jodie Chesney, Yousef Ghaleb Makki
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