Arrest made in connection with sexual assault of elderly woman in Martin County

Deputies say DNA evidence linked Marvin Ailon-Mendoza, 20, to crime
Marvin Ailon-Mendoza arrested May 18, 2021
Posted at 9:26 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 08:31:49-04

STUART, Fla. — Martin County Sheriff's Office detectives made an arrest Tuesday in connection with a home invasion and rape of an 82-year-old woman.

Deputies said the suspect is Marvin Ailon-Mendoza, 20.

Sheriff William Snyder said Ailon-Mendoza was wearing a mask and a hat during the May 12 crime and that he used binding equipment to tie the hands of the victim.

The victim told investigators she was awakened inside her home in the Hidden Harbor Estates community, located off St. Lucie Boulevard, at about 3 a.m.

There were no signs of forced entry, and the victim told investigators she had locked her door.

Snyder said detectives were able to gather body fluids at the scene and enter it into a statewide database, where they received a match.

He said Florida statutes allow for law enforcement officials to take DNA samples of suspects arrested for felonies and that Ailon-Mendoza had prior arrests but no convictions.

After obtaining a warrant, detectives located Ailon-Mendoza at a nearby Wawa gas station and arrested him.

Snyder said Ailon-Mendoza was questioned the morning of the crime and then seen in the neighborhood again later that day before deputies had any evidence connecting him to the crime.

Detectives are asking any additional victims to come forward.

"We have every reason to be suspicious that this was not his first time," Snyder said. "The fact that he was armed, the fact that he got into the house without any sign of forced entry, the fact that he had binding material that he brought with him all speaks to the issue that there may be other victims. Now that's not certain, but there could very well be other victims out there."