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Largest reward in state history offered to catch serial killer in New Britain

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The third and final set of remains found in New Britain belong to Mary Jane Menard. (New Britain police photo) The third and final set of remains found in New Britain belong to Mary Jane Menard. (New Britain police photo)
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    Tuesday, November 19 2013 6:02 PM EST2013-11-19 23:02:50 GMT
    The remains of three women were located in a wooded area near the New Britain/Farmington line six years ago.The remains of Joyvaline Martinez, Diane Cusack, and one still unidentified woman were locatedMore >
    The remains of three women were located in a wooded area near the New Britain/Farmington line six years ago. On Tuesday, officers and recruits returned to the space to search for more clues to solve the cases.More >
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

The New Britain Police Department said it's hunting for a serial killer after it identified the third and final set of remains found in New Britain in 2007.

A $150,000 reward, the largest in state history, was also being offered for information leading to arrests.The final victim was 40-year-old Mary Jane Menard.

Police said she went missing in 2003 in the area of Hartford Road, where her remains, and those of two other women, were found.

Last year, police identified one of the women as Joyvaline "Joy" Martinez of East Hartford. She was identified through dental records and DNA taken from her mother in 2007, according to police.

"My sister was a good person," said Sandra Martinez, Joyvaline Martinez's sister. "I don't want people to see a bad side, because she was a good person."

The victims' families have been looking for answers since their disappearances.

"We're gonna catch that monster that did this to my sister," Sandra Martinez said.

In 2010, the second set of remains was identified as Diane Cusack of New Britain. Police said a facial approximation helped them in that case.

"I want to emphasize that although these women may have been struggling with substance abuse issues at the time of their murders, they were mothers, daughters, sisters and neighbors," said Chief James Wardwell, New Britain Police Department. "To this day, they are loved and missed by the families and friends they have left behind and that is why we are here today, committed to bringing the individual responsible for these killings to justice."

The remains of all three were found behind a plaza in a wooded area on Hartford Road. They were ruled homicides.

The Greater New Britain Serial Murder Task Force is investigating. It confirmed that all three women frequented Main, Lafayette and Washington streets in the city. It doesn't believe the knew each other. They disappeared at different times in 2003.

"Our investigation has revealed that these murders were committed by the same offender at different times," Wardwell said.

Over the years, investigators returned to the scene, which is less than a mile away from the Westfarms Mall in West Hartford. Forensics investigations eventually helped determine the identities of the three women.

"I know he's not out there having a good time," Sandra Martinez said. "I know it's hurting him in the brain and his heart and his mind and he should give himself up."

Police released the new information during an 11 a.m. news conference at their department on Chestnut Street.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call anonymous tip line at 860-826-3199, visit the anonymous tip website, text a tip to 860-801-1004 or email, Crimetips@NewBritainCT.gov.

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