Former Norway woman slain in Arizona

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NORWAY – A former Norway woman was slain and her ex-boyfriend charged last week in a small Arizona town.

Police in Safford, Ariz., said the body of 27-year-old Eve Marie Batchelder was found under a pile of rocks March 30, two days after she had been reported missing.

Police did not say how Batchelder, the mother of two children, had been killed. However, investigators said there were obvious signs that the killing was intentional and they charged Batchelder’s ex-boyfriend with first degree murder.

Jason Martinez, 29, of Safford was arraigned March 30 and is expected to appear in a county courthouse at the end of the month for a preliminary hearing.

Safford police said Martinez is the father of Batchelder’s 18-month-old daughter, Zoe Jean, but that the pair had broken up several months ago.

Friends of Batchelder reported her missing March 28 when she failed to pick up her children from day care after leaving her job at the Safford beverage store she managed. Police said Batchelder was last seen with Martinez, who was being held Friday night on $500,000 cash bail.

According to an obituary, Batchelder was born in Globe, Ariz., but moved to Buckfield when she was young. She later moved to Norway, back to Arizona, and then once again to Maine, where she lived in Lisbon, Buckfield, Norway and Oxford. She attended Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris and worked for Gates Formed Fibre in Auburn, according to the obituary.

Later, Batchelder moved back to Buckfield and went to work for the restaurant Bar-Jo’s in Norway and at a wood mill in Buckfield. In 1999, she moved back to Safford with her brother and father.

A year later, in September 2000, her mother, Valerie Giles, was killed in a car crash in Poland. Batchelder has three brothers and three sisters, who live in various parts of the country. In addition to her 18-month-old daughter, she also had a 5-year-old son, Collin, according to the obituary.

Police investigating the killing said they learned that Batchelder was last seen with Martinez in his 1977 Chevrolet pickup truck. Police found the pickup March 29 near the spot where Batchelder’s body was found.

Safford is in the central-eastern portion of Arizona and has a population of about 9,000.

In Pima County, where Batchelder lived and where she was killed, there is no grand jury system, Safford police said Friday night. Instead, Martinez will be ordered to a preliminary hearing where it will be decided whether there is enough evidence to prosecute him on the murder charge.

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