Family of Michelle Martinko releases statement after suspect arrested

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(KCRG) - The family of Michelle Martinko has released a statement after a suspect has been arrested in her murder case.

Michelle Martinko was found dead in the Westdale Mall parking lot on Dec. 20, 1979. (Courtesy: Cedar Rapids Police)

Martinko was found dead in a family vehicle at the Westdale Mall parking lot on December 19, 1979.

Martinko's sister and brother-in-law, Janelle and John Stonebraker, have released a statement after 64-year-old Jerry Lynn Burns from Manchester was arrested on Wednesday and charged with First Degree Murder.

The statement is as follows:

"Janelle and I are very pleased and grateful for the work of several generations of Cedar Rapids uniformed police and detectives in bringing Mr. Burns to justice. From the leadership on down, they never gave up. The community can be very proud of its law enforcement, and for the tremendous comfort and support area residents have extended to our family over the thirty-nine years since Michelle’s death. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone. The family will have no further comment until a later date. Mr. Burns is presumed innocent, and we look forward to the evidence showing otherwise."