Julia Martin knew the right thing to do would be to return her engagement ring, it cost her life
Julia Martin had broken it off with her boyfriend of the past three to four years, six months ago. According to her father, Derrick Martin, she knew the right thing to do would be to return her engagement ring to her ex-fiancé
When Rodney Harvey came over on the premise of collecting the ring Friday night, he forced open the door and stabbed her repeatedly before jumping to his death from her apartment according to police.
Martin, a 28-year-old from Detroit, tried to save her own life. She grabbed her phone and called police about 7 p.m. She asked them to send an ambulance for her and told the operators the name of her attacker.
Then she called her dad.
“Not only did she call me, she texted me while she was going through all this,” Derrick Martin said Monday. “She was calling everybody, saying that she wanted help. She called another friend and she was panting over the phone, trying to get her breath. He thought it was a prank and he hung up on her. He feels so bad.”
He’s not alone. Martin doesn’t check his phone often and didn’t see the text message from his older daughter until much later. It read: “Call me ASAP.”
Julia Martin was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:37 p.m. from multiple sharp force injuries.
Harvey, 35, was pronounced dead at 7:18 p.m. at the same hospital. His death was ruled a suicide. The alleged killer’s brother, Nick Harvey said his brother “has had lifelong issues with diagnosed mental health problems. My mother has devoted so much of her life to trying to make sure he was happy. If you have kids … you know, you fight tooth and nail for your children.”
Their parents have already gone through the loss of another child, Nick said. Their sister died 10 years ago from heart problems, he said. It inspired a love of fitness in Rodney Harvey, who worked as a personal trainer, his brother said.
Michigan State graduate, Julia Martin was a human resources supervisor at a local architecture firm. She had never given her father any reason to worry that the man she spent so much of her life with was dangerous. “There was no indication he was dangerous,”Derrick Martin said of his daughter’s killer. “I never would’ve thought that in a million years.”
Julia Martin and Rodney Harvey
She recently told him that she had started dating again, her father said. Derrick Martin said his daughter called him awhile back and asked that they connect and meet in person to talk. Over the weekend, he drove down from Detroit to spend time with her.
“She never went into that much detail about how bad it was, she was just telling me that they had broke it off and that she was planning on giving the ring back.”
he said they went to a winery and enjoyed each other’s company, he said. “God works in mysterious ways,” “He must’ve known it was going to be my last time to see her.”
He described Julia as the adventurous and ambitious type. Upon graduation, she took a human resources job in Houston because she was always looking for ways to challenge herself.
“She was strictly into her career, always striving for greatness,” he said. “She was never satisfied being stuck in one position, she always tried to get higher and higher and higher.”
Julia Martin just received her passport for a New Year’s trip she was planning to Africa, her dad said. She traveled all over the country and hoped to one day live and work in New York City. He was just happy that after living far away in Houston, she was back living in Chicago, close by.
Derrick Martin who lost his wife of 20 years a couple of years, also has recently buried his mother, father and brother. Now the only family left are his younger daughter, Jasmin and her son Cameron, he said. The grieving dad is having Julia’s body moved back to Detroit for burial.
“I just pray, I just ask God to give me strength,” he said. “It’s like he keeps taking people that’s close to me and I don’t know why. You can’t question God, you just figure there’s a plan. And you pray.”