Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey (left) and Rockford Police Chief Paul May (right) speak Friday morning at a press conference.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey (left) and Rockford Police Chief Paul May (right) speak Friday morning at a press conference.
BY ED GEBERT

Times Bulletin Editor

egebert@timesbulletin.com

CELINA - A little more of the picture came into focus on Friday regarding the shooting death of a Rockford woman. Details were released Friday morning by Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey in a press conference, including the fact there was a child present in the home at the time of the shooting. The nine-year-old is the child of the victim, but was unharmed and is now staying with relatives.

Melinda S. Shinn, 26, was discovered shot to death Thursday morning at the mobile home she had shared for a couple of years with Daniel C. Martin on North St. in Rockford. Martin, 40, is now the subject of a manhunt.

"Right now we have in our possession a warrant for the arrest of Daniel C. Martin," Grey stated. "Daniel Martin lived in that residence, was the boyfriend of the victim. He is 40 years old. The description of him -- he's a black male, 5-foot-11-inches tall, 230 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. We have not located him at this point. We have other law enforcement agencies trying to help us located him."

After interviews and an initial investigation, authorities were able to present enough evidence to get a warrant for Martin's arrest just after 5 p.m. Thursday. Grey's office released the description of a vehicle which Martin was thought to have been driving. That red 1998 Ford Explorer has been located and impounded by police in Fort Wayne, but Martin remains at large.

Grey said that the couple had been arguing throughout Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

"That's verified by people even outside of the home, as there were text messages and things that were sent from the victim to people outside of the home. We believe it was in the early morning hours that a firearm was used to cause her death," he said. Grey remained tight-lipped on further details such as the number of gunshots and the location in the trailer where Shinn's body was found when police arrived around 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Rockford Police Chief Paul May was the officer to find Shinn inside the trailer. He stated that he had known Shinn and had coached her son's football team.

"We've never had an incident like this in the Village of Rockford," May declared. "I've been there 20 years, and grew up there. Nothing like this. In the area maybe, but not in the village."

Rockford Mayor Amy Joseph agreed, "I think the people in Rockford are shaken a little bit, still in shock. Like Chief [May] said, this is something that does not happen in our village. I've been assured though by the Sheriff's Department and Chief May that this wasn't just a random thing. It was between two people and the village is still safe and doesn't have anything to worry about."
After interviews and an initial investigation, authorities were able to present enough evidence to get a warrant for Martin's arrest just after 5 p.m. Thursday. Grey's office released the description of a vehicle which Martin was thought to have been driving. That red 1998 Ford Explorer has been located and impounded by police in Fort Wayne, but Martin remains at large.

Grey said that the couple had been arguing throughout Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

"That's verified by people even outside of the home, as there were text messages and things that were sent from the victim to people outside of the home. We believe it was in the early morning hours that a firearm was used to cause her death," he said. Grey remained tight-lipped on further details such as the number of gunshots and the location in the trailer where Shinn's body was found when police arrived around 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Rockford Police Chief Paul May was the officer to find Shinn inside the trailer. He stated that he had known Shinn and had coached her son's football team.

"We've never had an incident like this in the Village of Rockford," May declared. "I've been there 20 years, and grew up there. Nothing like this. In the area maybe, but not in the village."

Rockford Mayor Amy Joseph agreed, "I think the people in Rockford are shaken a little bit, still in shock. Like Chief [May] said, this is something that does not happen in our village. I've been assured though by the Sheriff's Department and Chief May that this wasn't just a random thing. It was between two people and the village is still safe and doesn't have anything to worry about."