Panama City Beach Police Chief JR Talamantez said Martinez was not cooperative.
“He provided little to no remorse of the situation,” Talamantez said. “In fact, he said he thought he killed a dog.”
He said the family decided to return back to Tennessee.
“They’re still in shock, they’re still processing it,” Talamantez said. “Who knows how long it takes for it to actually sink in.”
62-year-old Martinez is originally from Texas. He works as a contractor at Tyndall Air Force Base. Talamantez said the base helped police identify Martinez quickly.
Police used traffic cameras to locate Martinez’s license plate. It then took minutes to locate Martinez.
“This case could have gone on for days, if not weeks,” Talamantez said. “It could have gone on forever if we did not have the use of this technology.”
Kenneth Ray Martinez is now charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury or death.
Investigators said Martinez was driving a “lifted,” 2018 Ford F-150 in the parking lot of the Breakfast Point Marketplace when he struck the child. According to his arrest affidavit, Martinez was on the phone with a woman at his home. He told her he thought he struck a dog.
“The way he behaved himself, his lack of remorse for the situation, this is a bad guy he didn’t just make a mistake,” Talamantez said.