Sons want answers after father was found brutally beaten in their Franklinton home

Lee Martin, 85, was brutally attacked in his Franklinton home on June 29. He died on July 5. His death is now being investigated as a homicide. (Photo credit: Martin family)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Lee Martin was brutally attacked in his own bed more than one month ago. The death was never reported by police or any local media outlet, and 10TV just learned about the case this week because of a viewer tip.

"I don’t see how anybody could do that to anybody, let alone an 85-year-old man," said Regina Wiget, a longtime friend of Martin.

In the early hours of June 29, someone attacked Martin in his home on Martin Avenue. Later that morning, one of his sons found him covered in blood and called 911.

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"My brother Lee gave me a call at 7:30 in the morning," said one of Martin's sons, John Martin. "He was freaking out and said something happened to dad."

John Martin says, what happened, was someone attacked his dad with a large knife, perhaps a machete or meat cleaver.

"It just puts thoughts in your head, things you want to do to somebody," John Martin said of the sight of his father in the hospital after the attack.

The injuries were gruesome and ultimately fatal. Lee Martin died at Grant Medical Center on July 5.

"It’s hard to believe anybody could do that, let alone somebody that’s supposed to love him," Wiget said.

The police report lists the person of interest in this case as a family member, who has long been homeless and has a criminal record dating back decades.

"They all think he had something to do with it," John Martin said. "Do I put it past him? I don’t put anything past anybody, you know. Anybody’s capable of doing something."

Columbus police would not discuss the details of the investigation but did say the case would be treated as any other homicide and that officers would seek justice for the victim's family.

But the family is upset with how the case has progressed.

The case was only turned over to a homicide detective this week. Police say that is because the coroner's report, which declares the death a homicide, was only finished this week.

For now, there have been no arrests, so the killer is still out there.

"I just want justice done for him. Somebody needs to pay for this, they really do," Wiget said. "He’s one person. If they did this to a little, old man, who else are they going to do this to?"

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