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‘The light of our lives’: Family, friends remember Wendy Martinez after murder in D.C.

Wendy Martinez. (Photos: Family/WPTV)

Family, friends, and fellow runners are paying tribute to Wendy Martinez, as the search for her killer intensifies.

The 35-year-old was jogging through her Northwest Washington neighborhood, as she did countless times before, when she was fatally stabbed on Tuesday night.

Martinez’ death comes less than a week after her engagement. Friends tell ABC7 her fiancé proposed last Wednesday.

Now, the family has gone from planning a wedding to planning a funeral.

“We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy. Wendy Karina Martinez was the light of our lives. Not only was she an avid runner, but she was a devout Christian, a wonderful friend, and a driven professional. Everything you hope that a daughter and a friend could be. She was also excited to be planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Daniel Hincapie. They were engaged just last week,” said her mother, Cora Martinez, in a statement.

On Wednesday night, members of DC’s running community said the tragedy had left them both heartbroken and fearful.

“First my thoughts went to her family, my thoughts and prayers. DC is such a running city, whether you’re running at two p.m. or six p.m. or six a.m. So it’s sad that we’re having to be hit with that reality that the world isn’t always safe,” said runner Courtney Littlejohn. “So she’s definitely going to be with us and in our hearts and the miles we run will be dedicated to her.”

Littlejohn is a member of District Running Collective and on Wednesday night the group dedicated their run to Martinez.

“It hits close to home,” runner Carlos Ramirez said. “It was devastating to hear, being a runner myself.”

Martinez was the Chief of Staff for a DC-based technology company called FiscalNote. In a tweet, the company said they are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of her death.

Georgetown University was grieving as well, because Martinez graduated from the school in 2012 with a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies.

Georgetown’s Center For Latin American Studies shared the sad news on its website, writing “let us pray for Wendy and her family and friends at this terribly difficult time.”

Authorities continue to search for one suspect in connection to the killing. He was caught on surveillance cameras near the scene of the deadly stabbing.

Police released that surveillance video on Wednesday and say the man they’re looking for was last seen wearing a long-sleeved mustard-colored shirt coming down to his thighs, with dark colored sweatpants.

In a statement, the Martinez family urged anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts to come forward.

“We also want to encourage the community to please contact the police with any information that may lead to finding justice for Wendy,” the family wrote.

Just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, almost exactly 24 hours after the deadly stabbing, some of Martinez’ closest family and friends returned to the spot where it happened at the corner of 11th Street and P Street Northwest.

Her mother and fiancé were among those who went inside the restaurant where Martinez sought help after being stabbed.

A close friend speaking on behalf of the family said they wanted to come pay their respects at the place where Martinez lost her life. She said the family also wanted to thank the restaurant employees who called 911 and did everything they could to try to save her life.

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