Dominic Holden

Dominic Holden was killed in July 2020

El Sereno -- “It is so much to unpack,” Kissy Martinez said, at the end of an awful year.

Twelve months ago, her son was shot to death in El Sereno. Ever since then, Martinez has been keeping the story alive on Instagram and Facebook - details of the crime, contact information for anonymous tips, and information about a suspect when he was finally arrested.

But Martinez' pursuit of justice for her son has come to abrupt and surprising end. A few days before a scheduled court appearance, the suspect accused of killing her son died earlier this month. No trial will be held. 

El Sereno murder suspect dies before trial begins

The Los Angeles County Coroner has confirmed that the suspect, Teoman Andaç, age 19, died at his residence in South Pasadena on July 11. The official cause of death is not expected to be known for several months, according to the District Attorney's office.

Andac was charged with killing Martinez’s son, Dominic Holden in July 2020, according to the District Attorney’s office. The suspect had an arrangement earlier in the month, and was facing another one on July 20, according to documents from the District Attorney’s office.

Instead, on July 20 the case was dismissed, the D.A.'s office said.

Dominic Holden was 20 years old. Like his mother - actually, perhaps more so - he was adept at social media, with three different Instagram accounts: One for body-building, one for photography, and one, it seems, for whatever else.

Robbery may have been a motive in Dominic Holden's murder

But on July 23, 2020, his body was found along the 4200 block of Lowell Ave., in a car he had borrowed from his mother. The D.A.'s office confirmed that he had been shot in the head.

He had been living with Martinez in Oceanside at the time. It is still unclear what he was doing in El Sereno.

But as for the motive for the shooting?

“The theme was robbery,” Martinez said.

On top of the murder charge, the D.A.’s felony statement also accused Andac of attempted theft against Holden, as well as an unrelated car theft from a different victim the following November.

Victim was working for a marijuana grower

Holden may have been working for a marijuana grower and transporting the product from Bakersfield to Los Angeles. according to the University Times. It is still not certain, however, whether this was related to the attempted robbery involving Andac.

While Andac's case has been closed, the story isn't over, however.

"Two other unidentified men were with the defendant just prior to the murder," the D.A.'s office said.

The names of those two other people have not been released.

“I pray that someday we could find out who the other two were,” Martinez said, in her latest Facebook post.

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Assistant Editor

Barry Lank has worked for newspapers on the East and West Coasts, and earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University. He formerly produced "National Lampoon Presents: The Final Edition." A native of San Gabriel Valley, he now lives in East Hollywood.

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