Family remembers 20-year-old killed in fire

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FORT HALL — A fire in Fort Hall over the weekend left one man dead, and it was later discovered that it was not an accident.

Fort Hall police arrested Rydon Teton, also known as Rydon Dixey, Saturday in relation to the death of 20-year-old Francisco Martinez. Francisco was found after the fire was reported just after 5 a.m. Friday at a building across from Fort Hall Elementary on “B” Street.

The FBI is also investigating the murder, but Dixey is still in the tribe’s custody.

Francisco’s sister said the Martinez family is “trying to be strong”, but despite a brave face, the family is still devastated.

“We’re all still in shock. We’re in disbelief because we’re not even going to be able to see his body,” Shaneadeppe Martinez, Francisco’s aunt, told KPVI. “So that’s the hardest part – we’re never going to be able to see him. We’re never going to get that closure.”

The family described Francisco as universally loved, and said he loved boxing, being outdoors and helping people.

Francisco’s family said they first heard rumor of the tragedy on Facebook, and then had to wait in their grandmother’s house for hours to find out the truth.

“It felt like eternity,” said Shaneadeppe. “It just felt like forever. It felt just ugly having to sit here and wait and not be able to do anything.”

But despite all the hurt, the family wants people to remember the good things about Francisco.

They say his family meant everything to him, including his three year-old son and described his bright personality.

“He always had a big old cheesy smile on his face no matter what,” said Shaneadeppe, “He’d be upset or frustrated but he’d just smile at you. There was never a dull moment in his life I guess. He was always happy-go-lucky. He just loved his life.”

The family started a Go Fund Me page to pay for funeral expenses. They plan to have a traditional funeral service for Francisco Wednesday at their grandmother’s house and on Friday, he will be brought to the Bannock Creek Cemetery.

We reached out to the Shoshone Bannock Tribe for any updates on the investigation, but they did not have any new information to provide at this time.

This story originally appeared on KPVI. It is posted here with permission.

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