Mother accused of frenzied mass stabbing murder

Smiles and thumbs up from woman charged with killing family

Smiles and thumbs up from woman charged with killing family

Isabel Martinez, 33, appeared before Gwinnett County Magistrate Court Judge Michael Thorpe a day after police said she stabbed the five to death and seriously injured another child at her home outside Atlanta.

That child, Diana Romero, was just 9 years old and the only one to survive the attack.

Throughout the entire hearing, Martinez smiled, waved her arms, and gave thumbs up.

"I'm going to caution you to cut off the display for the cameras", the judge told Martinez.

Gwinnett County police discovered a bloody scene at Martinez's home shortly before 5 a.m. Thursday in Loganville, about 30 miles east of Atlanta.

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Pihera said the caller was speaking Spanish, which initially made it hard for 911 operators to communicate with her.

The father was Martin Romero (33) and the four siblings were Axel (2), Dillan (4), Dacota (7) and Isabela (10).

Police have have charged the children's mother, Isabel Martinez, with numerous counts, including murder and malice murder. Police believe the family lived together in the house.

Jim Hollandsworth, said the children had recently enrolled in an after-school program he runs nearby. "They had tons to live for and a future ahead of them, so it's very bad and devastating", he said.

"She says her dad passed away months ago", said Perez.

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Immigration officials have also placed a hold on Garduno-Martinez, said Bryan Cox, spokesman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, adding that this was the first time the agency had encountered her. Deon Washington said Thursday that Martinez is the "primary suspect", and that authorities are "not searching for anyone else".

Meanwhile, police have said that the mother was cooperating in the investigation but has yet to offer any explanation for the killings.

The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct autopsies to conclusively determine how each of the victims died, authorities said.

"My attorneys (are) the people that we're fighting for", she said in Spanish through an interpreter.

Neighbor Letty Perez tells CBS46 News that Martinez had recently lost her father and the family had only lived in the home for about a month after moving to Georgia from IL.

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Police Cpl. Michele Pihera told reporters Thursday that Martinez was "quickly taken into custody", according to ABC affiliate WSB.

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